America is becoming a country of Victims

 

Today is July 18, 2016. We have experienced several weeks of unbelievable tragedy—Dallas TX where police officers were targets; Nice France where eighty plus innocent people were purposefully run over by a madman in a truck; and Baton Rouge LA where again police officers were ambushed.

Why?

These REAL victims are the result of people who have been convinced they are victims in life and now seek faux retribution. OK, that is a complicated sentence—what do I mean by it?

In my last blog, “Americans are Starving for Self-Esteem”, I argued that freedom is tied to the reputation we have with ourselves and that reputation is tied to how much we love and respect ourselves—real self love, not ego. My next blog was to be a description of tools one must develop in order to begin recognizing how this true self-respect evolves. The events of this past week, however, reveal the erosion to society that occurs when individual self-respect is subverted by malicious decades of greedy, but influential, non-leaders who have become personally wealthy by convincing large swathes of Americans that they are VICTIMS.

Who are these villains?

Where do we begin? There are so many. All the people who come to you; pander for your votes at election time; tell you how they are there for YOU, but really only want you to vote for them and then they dump you. It is kinda like the old singles scene where boy meets girl—tells her how beautiful she is and then as soon as she acquiesces to his wants, he drops her and forgets her until he has that itch again.   In my years of counseling singles, I saw how this destroyed personal self-esteem. But multiply this kind of greed by the millions and see how city managers apply the same tactics. And then there are the really, really nasty folks like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who pretend to want to help black people when all they want is to use them—telling them they are looking out for their interest when in reality they enslave them to victimhood as they themselves wear beautiful Italian made, expensive suits and live on the wealth they derive from speeches and preaches. Oh, they could have done good things and maybe they started out to do so. However, as time went on, they merely told their followers that the impoverishment in their lives was someone else’s fault. What does it do to one’s self worth to feel hopeless and helpless?

The Struggle

The victims who are gunned down, run down or blown up by the angst and malfunctioning of those who are victims of manipulation, are to be mourned and given prayers. So too the manipulated victims who have been convinced that they are not unique and beautiful, need prayers. Learning how to love you; understanding yourself; accepting yourself is what self-esteem is all about. You can never love and accept another, if you first do not love and respect yourself. Also, until one develops an awareness and love of self, it is difficult to identify the agendas of those who will make you a victim.

Our World is Starving for Self Esteem

Self Esteem, Self Confidence, Self Respect, Freedom and Choices

….. When I awakened from my dream that ‘happiness just happens and mostly to other people’ and began to look at myself a few decades ago, I read everything I could read, i.e., every pop psychology book I could find. Nathanial Brandon was one of my favorite writers and I actually used his writings in my lectures promoting self-esteem—that is after I became arrogant enough to believe I had some.

….. Through the reading I learned that Self Esteem is the integration of our self-confidence and self-respect. Both are necessary to balancing our world of freedom and uncertainty. Freedom means that we can make the correct choices–choices that will propel us to greater joy. Most people never recognize how their choices happen. Sometimes we don’t even know we are choosing. Oh, we think long and hard about what refrigerator we want to buy, what music we want to spend our money on; but seldom did we think about the consequences of smoking, unsafe sex, etc. These are not choices so much as spontaneous reactions. We also do not think that hating or not hating is a choice.

Self Confidence allows us to trust the tools of life to make good choices. Self Respect is the result of our understanding that we have goodness. Together these interact, to help us make good choices.

….. The understanding I experienced from this long process of self-improvement, made me realize how imperative it is for each of us to look to improve our self-esteem. Self-esteem is the reputation you have with yourself.

….. The correlation between good choices and good self-esteem is indivisible. The importance, particularly in young adults, is diabolical. Young adults who have a strong sense of who they are, have the strength to ignore bad choices and peer pressure.

….. Most of society’s problems stem from an abundance of low self-esteem. People who don’t love themselves are incapable of loving others. (That didn’t come from my reading Brandon, it came from my Italian mother). Back two decades ago when I thought of this ALL the time, I recognized how onerous the problem was. How does one learn self-esteem? It cannot be taught in school because only a select few adults have even reflected upon it AND it is like everything else in life—if you don’t have it, you can’t give it.

Self Esteem and the Child Parent Relationship

….. Brandon states: “Every organism depends on its environment for its successful growth.”

….. Vegetables and flowers cannot grow well if they lack an abundance of good soil, moisture and sunlight. Unfortunately, they cannot choose to alter their environment.

….. Adults and particularly children cannot grow in an environment that does not offer acceptance. Adults are able to choose to transcend an adverse environment. For children, particularly in their primary years, they are at the same disadvantage of the flowers and vegetables. They cannot choose to alter their adversarial environment. Much worse, however is that children attribute their parents with omniscience and omnipotence—parents are all good, all knowing, all loving.

….. Brandon offers this analogy: “When human beings developed the notion of a God who is omniscient and omnipotent, they quickly added the attribute of all-good. It would be too terrifying to imagine a capricious or sadistic God. Therefore, if disaster befalls, the fault must be ours. Someone or something must be sacrificed to appease this God.”

….. Children need to be visible (real & separate) from their parents and in their parent’s eyes. A child needs to feel he can be his own individual self, with important thoughts and ideas. He needs to know that he is responsible for his choices and his ideas. He needs to feel parental trust in his ability to take responsibility for these ideas and choices.

….. When parents, by their behavior (sometimes very well intentioned) protect the child from hurt, or his own feelings, they deny him his responsibility to experience those feelings.

This blog comes from my very old notes.  I created the notes from several of Brandon’s writings so I cannot, after all these years direct you to a specific book he wrote.