Recently, a provocative quote by an American author and speaker, Byron Katie has been making its way through the internet circuit. The quote says, “Victims are violent people.” Given the amount of violence taking place in the world today, as well as the rise of self-help jargon, where people are encouraged to ‘move out of victim consciousness,’ it seems relevant to look deeper into such a statement and its potential impact that can be both empowering and disempowering.
In a world where there is police brutality, terrorism, sexual abuse, and war, how do we tell the difference between objective victimization and ‘victim consciousness’? What do we do when life hands us – or those around us -- lemons? And how do we remain compassionate towards ourselves and others, without perpetuating a cycle, where in the name of self-defense, we attack? The answers to these questions may be different for each of us. And yet they seem worth asking, especially when there is so much overt violence being perpetrated in this world.