How many times did you hear someone at school say a “bad” word and you couldn’t believe it? Or when you thought it was cool to talk that way. (Some still do) Recently, I have come across a word that is thrown around like everyday language. But it’s not. And it’s time to fill you in on a big secret.
When something bad happens to someone, most of us have empathy for them. We are sad, heartbroken, maybe even angry at what someone we know/love went through or is going through. This might come across as rude. Not my intention, but it’s time to call it like it is. You have got to think before you speak. Say WHAT? (Sometimes we have a hard time with that one) Dirty word of the year is VICTIM.
Do you know what that word means when you say it to a survivor? That they were/are weak. That they had a choice. That they are dead. Victim is someone who has been part of something horrific that they had no choice in. Kidnapping, murder, burglary, abuse in any form, someone hurt in the line of duty, the list goes on. While I can see how that word may apply to many of these in the current situation, it’s actually not the correct one. The word that needs to be used is survivor. They have come a long away in defeating the hurts and demons that have been faced. And may still be facing. The fact that a current situation may label them a victim is the world’s terminology. It’s all about perception. If they are not dead, then they are nothing short of a superhero in human survival mode. They have not quit. They are still fighting. Picking the body up off the floor or out of bed or out of the corner to keep trying. When nothing is left, they are still dragging themselves across the pavement. And it’s just as much a mental battle as a physical one. There is nothing about that which says to me “victim.” The one thing they have, though it may be small, is hope. Somewhere along the way, a light shimmered in their soul. Jesus made an appearance even if it is not yet recognized.
So before you go running your mouth and being mean and hurtful toward someone you consider a “victim,” why don’t you ask yourself if you would have it in you to survive and continue to fight what they have faced and may still be facing? Chances are, you will find that you are not as powerful as your ego would have you believe. Your definition of victim is probably a far cry from what it actually pertains to in that particular individual. You most likely have your definition twisted.
a person who survives, especially a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died:“the sole survivor of the massacre”
the remainder of a group of people or things:“a survivor from last year’s team”
a person who copes well with difficulties in their life:“she is a born survivor”
lawa joint tenant who has the right to the whole estate on the other’s death.
A person does not have to be physically dead to die. Many turn to drugs, prostitution, alcohol, or end up with mood and behavior disorders to cope. This is a different death. A survivor pushes through these things and keeps looking for that hope.
Instead of judging them on the story you don’t know, why don’t you be their hope. Show them that no matter what they have been through and may still be battling, that they are worthy and their hope is not imaginary. It doesn’t mean to be something you are not. People just want you to be honest and transparent. (If they don’t, then they are not comfortable and are struggling with something and it’s ok) Give them a hug. Just smile at them. Invite them to dinner at your home and take them to church. Have them around your family. Show them Jesus. Your kindness, even for a moment, can impact their desire to continue to survive. It’s all relevant to following the Golden Rule. It really does exist.