• Danielle Serpica

Victors vs. Victims: How The World Frowns Upon Winners, While Celebrating Mediocrity

Have you noticed, that lately, people are complaining a lot more than usual? Everywhere you look, either someone is offended by something or someone is bitching about how their life sucks. People are constantly airing their dirty laundry with no shame. Just log into Facebook and I’m sure you’ll see dozens of posts with people airing their grievances. The sad part is that most of these things are First World Problems that can easily be fixed by a simple change of mindset and perspective. Why is it that almost every Millennial or Gen Z person suffers from anxiety and(or) depression? It’s almost as if being a victim is trendy.

Look at the differences between the generations of our grandparents and parents, in comparison to today. Our grandparents did not have it easy. They survived extreme poverty, wars, plagues and The Great Depression. Most had to leave their countries and families to come to America all alone, without speaking a word of English. Imagine how scary and traumatic that must have been? Despite all that, they did not have time to be depressed or anxious. They were too busy trying to survive and provide for their families. Being depressed and having anxiety was a luxury that most could not afford. You need time to be depressed because depression is usually caused by living in the past. You also need time to be anxious because most anxiety comes from worrying about the future and things that you have no control over. Our grandparents didn’t have this luxury because they were constantly in survival mode. Even though times were tough, most still valued their lives and the lives of their families. No one was selfish or dramatic enough to threaten to kill themselves because their families needed them.

It was shameful to air your dirty laundry and considered weak to cry and complain, instead of taking action. Only the strong survived, therefore everyone aspired to be tough and strong, and that included women. They took on dangerous jobs in sweatshops and factories, while holding down the fort at home. I’m sure there were definitely times when these men and women wanted to break down and just give up, but they had other people to worry about who depended on them. They knew that all of their hard work would all be worth it when their children can have better lives. Previous generations were just built tough and more equipped to handle life’s challenges. They didn’t get PTSD because someone said something mean to them once. They picked themselves up and moved on with their lives. They didn’t dwell on the past or make a big deal out of trivial nonsense.

Today’s generations will blame Toxic Masculinity for older generations learning how to manage their emotions and keep them in check. Meanwhile, the smallest inconvenience will set a Millennial or Gen Z person off. It’s almost as if they lack any form of Emotional Intelligence. I’m not in anyway saying that depression and anxiety aren’t real, or that there aren’t people out there who actually suffer from real mental illnesses that impair their everyday life. What I’m saying is that most of these people are the ones creating the stigma and causing others to not take real mental health issues seriously. When someone flips out at the barista at Starbucks because they forgot to put soy milk in their Mocha Bullshit Latte and lets that ruin their entire day, that’s a First World Problem. That is not what having real anxiety and depression is. When you look closely, a lot of these “depression” and “anxiety” issues that these people claim to have, are often self-inflicted.

Most young adults and teens get depressed and anxious by comparing their lives to others on social media. Our grandparents worried about survival, our parents tried to keep up with the Joneses, and our generation is trying to keep up with the Kardashians. They don’t realize that comparison is the thief of joy and that most things on social media aren’t always what they seem. In 2016-2017, there was a poll that showed that young adults suffered from depression, anxiety and PTSD as a result of Trump being elected President. Recently, there are people saying that just hearing a recording of Trump’s voice is enough to trigger an episode. This is an insult to anyone who had to serve in the Military, those who experienced rape or sexual assault, or anyone who had to endure an abusive childhood or relationship.

It seems like these young adults were never taught that you don’t always get what you want and have to learn to live with that. Claiming to have PTSD because your candidate lost is ridiculous because it has no effect on your life whatsoever. If it does, then it’s because you gave it the power to do so and you should be embarrassed and ashamed to go around admitting that. Everyone has become offended by everything, that if you’re not, something is wrong with you or you’re a sociopath. Just look at what’s happening to those who don’t want to wear a mask. The victims who are running on fear are accusing those that choose to think for themselves and not let fear run their lives, of being heartless narcissists and sociopaths. No wonder mental health isn’t taken seriously in our country, when people are so quick to throw around these labels so loosely.

Being offended is a choice. We all have the ability to choose how certain things affect us and where we choose to put our energy.

If you’re constantly in a state of “woe is me,” and make no effort to change and fix your life, then you’re just a martyr who enjoys wallowing in your own misery and self-pity. Some people like to complain just for the sake of complaining and often create their own problems because of this Martyrdom Complex. It’s sick how they get off on the negativity. There is no honor in being a cry baby and previous generations understood this. The real problem is that no one has any pride, honor or shame anymore. People will go out of their way to look weak for attention and so many people will enable their behavior. This is not how real life works and none of them were taught this as children because they were coddled their entire lives. This has become the adult equivalent of a supermarket temper tantrum.

It seems like it is now frowned upon to work hard, to be in shape and to be mentally strong. Victims are respected and revered, while Victors are shamed and outcast. We have built an entire culture around Victimhood, that even celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon and making false accusations in order to gain sympathy or to stay relevant. Victims get a lot of attention and press coverage these days that it’s almost as if being a victim is a badge of honor, rather than something to be ashamed of. Anything that someone cries enough about publicly, will be cancelled. Even criminals can manipulate public opinion by playing the victim. America certainly loves its victims as much as it loves its villains.

Mediocrity is celebrated, while greatness is frowned upon. Any man who is strong and masculine is labeled as “toxic.” Any woman who likes to take care of herself and is deemed conventionally attractive, is complying with the Patriarchy and giving in to internalized misogyny. Dad Bods and overweight women are all celebrated in the Body Positivity Movement, while healthy and fit people are viewed as the enemy. Unhealthy lifestyles are glorified and those who show off their excess fat are applauded as “Stunning and brave!” Meanwhile, fit women are told that they aren’t “real women” and fit men are told that they’re just brainless jocks and meatheads who only know how to “pick things up and put them down.”

Even gifted children are being punished. Schools are taking away programs that benefit gifted children because other children and their parents are upset. Their kid is special too, so why can’t they all be treated the same? They refuse to accept the fact that some people are smarter than others, just like some people are better athletes than others. They also had to go and ruin that too, by giving everyone a trophy. Why would anyone try to work harder and do better, when there is no longer a reward or incentive for it? These people hate those who work hard and lead happy and successful lives. They’re always saying how, “It’s not fair,” or “Why not me?,” while refusing to put in the kind of effort and hard work that it takes to have an enjoyable life. That’s what happens when you’re trained to be rewarded and handed things just for existing.

No one wants to take any personal responsibility or accountability. It’s always no fault of their own and always someone else to blame for all of their problems and shortcomings. “All men are shit!” This is not true, as all men should not be lumped into one category. If you think that all men are shit, then maybe you’re the problem. “Nobody likes me because people are assholes.” Maybe nobody likes you because YOU are the asshole. “I’m always broke. Rich people are the enemy.” Maybe you’re broke because you don’t know how to live within your means and manage your finances properly. Are the rich just supposed to fork over their cash to you? It’s this type of mindset that breeds mediocrity, poor habits and contempt for those who actually do the work and put in the effort to make their lives successful. It’s so much easier to blame others in order justify your miserable existence, than it is to look in the mirror and take charge to change your perspective and your life. The only person that can save you, is you! You’re the one who has to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and go after what you want. That is the difference between Victims and Victors.