IX. Victimism’s risk

77.  The inner dialogue
78.  The spiral of the complaint
79.  The comfort of the rout
80.  The rhetoric of the self-considered victims
81.  The temptation of the innocence
82.  The sound barrier

77. The interior dialogue

Every man is a social being, open to the others.  For any person, the others are an important part of his life.  His full fulfillment as person is unfailingly connected with others, because all we know that the happiness depends in a big part of the quality of our relation with those that compose our social, professional and family environment. 

Nevertheless, it cannot be forgotten that the man does not only relate to the others, but also with himself: he maintains a frequent conversation in his own private inner privacy, a dialogue that is produced of spontaneous form with occasion of the diverse experiences or personal reflections that every man does continuously. 

And that interior dialogue can be sterile or fertile, destructive or constructive, obsessive or serene.  It will depend on how it is stated, of the class of person that one is.  If one has a healthy and well cultivated interior world, that dialogue will be enlightening, because it will provide light to interpret the reality and it will be occasion of very valuable considerations.  If a person, on the contrary, possesses a dark and impoverished interior world, the dialogue that he will establish with himself will be converted, frequently, in an obsessive repetition of problems, referred to small disruptive incidents of the everyday life: in those cases, as Miguel Angel Martí has written, the interior world finishes being a laboratory where the data that arrive at it are integrated, and becomes a rifled disk, that repeats obsessively what with more intensity has scratched ultimately our affectivity. 

The relation with one self improves according to the degree of maturity reached by each person.  The appraisals that a mature person does -so much on his own reality as well as on the alien one- use to be realistic appraisals, because he has learned not to fall easily in those ingenuous idealizations that, when are not complied, produce disillusionment.  The mature man knows not to dramatize in front of the obstacles that he finds carrying out himself in any of the projects that he proposes to do.  His interior dialogue uses to be serene and objective, so that neither himself neither the others use to cause to him surprises that can disconcert him.  He maintains a relation with himself that is at the same time warm and demanding.  Rarely does he create interior conflicts, because he knows to settle his worries looking for the adequate solution.  He has confidence in himself and, if sometimes he makes mistakes, he does not get depressed neither he loses his interior equilibrium. 

In the immature people, on the other hand, that interior dialogue that we speak uses to become a source of problems: by not valuing the things in their just measure -to himself, to the others, to all the reality that surrounds him-, frequently his thoughts create to him false expectations that, when are not complied, cause interior conflicts and difficulties for his relation with the others. 

A mature and stable person tends to look at the own life and that of the others always with affection.  He contemplates all the reality that surrounds him with desire of interior enrichment, because who sees with affection discovers always somewhat good in the object of his vision.  The man that dilates and enriches his interior of that way, expands and enriches his love and his knowledge, becomes more optimistic, happier, more human, more close to the reality, so much to that of the men as to that of the things. 

78. The spiral of the complaint

Often perhaps, we discover us complaining about small refusals, about lacks of consideration or about carelessness of the others.  We observe in our interior that murmur, that moan, that lament that grows and grows even when we do not want it.  And we see that, the more we take refuge in it, the worse we feel; the more we analyze it, more reasons appear that make us to continue complaining; the more deeply we enter those reasons, more complicated they become. 

This is the complaint of a heart that feels that he never receives what corresponds to him.  The aforesaid complaint is expressed through thousand of ways, but that always finishes creating a sensation of bitterness and of deception. 

There is an enormous and dark power in that vehement interior complaint.  Each time that a person lets himself to be seduced by those ideas, he entangles himself a little more in a spiral of endless refusal.  The condemnation to others, and the condemnation to oneself, grows more and more.  He enters into the labyrinth of his own discontent, until that, at the end, he can consider to be the most misunderstood person, rejected and despised of the world. 

Besides, to complain is often counterproductive.  When we regret of something with the hope to inspire grief and thus to receive a satisfaction, the result is, frequently, the opposite of what we try to obtain.  The habitual complaint conducts to more refusal, because it is exhausting to live together with someone that tends to the victimism, or that in all he sees slights and contempt, or that he expects from the others -or from the life in general- what usually cannot be required.  The root of that frustration consists many times in the person perceiving himself self-disappointed, and it is difficult to give an answer to his complaints because, deep down, he rejects to himself. 

Once the complaint becomes strong in someone -in his interior, or in his exterior attitude-, that person loses the spontaneity to the extent that the happiness that he observes in others tends to evoke in him a feeling of sadness and even of grudge.  In front of the happiness of the others, immediately he begins to suspect.  Happiness and resentment cannot coexist: when there is resentment, the happiness, instead of inviting to the happiness, originates a greater refusal. 

That attitude of complaint is still more serious when it goes in association with a constant reference to the own virtue, to the supposed own positive values:  "I do this, and that, and here I am working, worrying me about that, trying that another, and on the other hand he, or she, while, they are unconcerned, they laze about, they go for their own objectives, they are either way". 

As it has been written by Henri J. M. Nouwen, these are complaints and susceptibilities that seem to be mysteriously connected with praiseworthy attitudes in oneself.  All a pathological style of thought that despairs enormously to whom suffers it.  Just when he wants to speak or to act since the more worthy and most altruistic attitude, he founds himself trapped by feelings of wrath or of rancor.  The more disinterested he intends to be, the more is he obsessed by the fact that others don't value what he does.  The more he tries to do as much as possible, the more he asks himself why the others do not do the same things that he does.  The more generous he wants to be, the more he feels envy for the ones that are abandoned in the selfishness. 

When one falls in that spiral of criticism and of reproach, all spontaneity is lost.  The resentment blocks the perception, declares envy, he becomes constantly indignant because it is not given to him what, according to him, he deserves.  All becomes suspicious, calculated, and full of second intentions.  The most minimum movement demands a countermovement.  The most minimum comment must be analyzed; the most insignificant gesture must be evaluated.  The life becomes a strategy of wrongs and demands.  In the bottom of all appears constantly a subject full of resentment and of complaint. 

Which is the solution to this?  Perhaps the best thing to do is to make an effort in giving more capacity to enter into oneself's confidence and into oneself's gratitude.  We know that gratitude and resentment cannot coexist.  The discipline of the gratitude is an explicit effort by receiving with happiness and serenity what happen to us.  The gratitude implies a constant election.  I can elect to be grateful although my emotions and primary feelings were impregnated of pain.  It is surprising the quantity of times in which we can opt for the gratitude instead of by the complaint.  There is a Estonian's saying related to this:  "The one that is not grateful in the little thing, will neither be in the big thing".  The small acts of gratitude make the person to be grateful.  Above all because, little by little, they cause us to see that, if we look at the things with perspective, at the end we realize that all results to be for our profit. 

79. The comfort of the defeat

The victimist uses to be a human model of little vitality, dominated by his fondness to be withdrawn a little of the life.  A mentality that -as it has been indicated by Pascal Bruckner- makes that all the difficulties of the men's life, even the most ordinary, become matter for discussion.  The victimist observes himself with a soft and tolerant indulgence, tends to escape from his true responsibility, and uses to finish paying a high price by representing his role as of being mistreated habitually. 

The victimist spreads with enormous intensity something that would be able to be called as culture of the complaint, a mentality that -in a more or less direct way- tries to convince us that we are some unfortunate that, in our candor, we do not have conscience of up to what point it is pulling our legs. 

The success of the victimist's speech comes from his unverifiable character.  It is not easy to confirm his thesis, but neither to contradict them.  It is an attitude that induces to a morbid eagerness for discovering trivial wrongs, by being felt discriminated or mistreated, by attributing to exterior instances all the bad thing that happens to us or that can happen to us. 

And as this mentality does not always manage to reach the objectives that he desires so much, it conducts, at the same time, with facility to the desperation, to the whimpering, to the vain conformism in front of the misfortune.  And instead of fighting for improving the things, instead of putting enthusiasm, those people compete in the exhibition of their misfortunes, in describing with horror their sufferings. 

The culture of the complaint tends to enlarge the minimum adversity and to transform it into some form of victimism.  A strange passion arises by appearing like the victim, by denouncing as evil the conduct of the others.  For the people that fall in this attitude, everything that is done to them is intolerable, while their own errors or defects are only simple subtleties without importance that would be a lack of touch to indicate. 

There are basically two ways to treat an emotional, familiar, professional failure or whichever other type of failure.  The first one is to assume the own fault and to jump to the conclusions that can carry us to learn of that error.  The second is to be always ready to blame to the others, to seek bravely external responsibilities of our misfortune.  Of the first form we can acquire experience to surpass that failure; of the second, we prepare us to fall again easily in it, blaming again to the others and eluding a healthy exam of our responsibilities. 

When a person tends to think that almost never he is guilty of his failures, he enters in a spiral of difficult exit.  A spiral that annuls the capacity of beating that has always enlarged to the man and that has permitted to fight to domesticate his defects; a vicious circle that submerges him in the conformism of the recurrent complaint, in which he solidly is.  The victimization is the resource of the frightened that prefers to become object of compassion instead of confronting with decision what frightens him.  . 

80.  The rhetoric of the victimism

To try to eliminate the suffering at any cost signifies almost always to aggravate it, because to the extent that we flee out of him, it goes gaining ground.  There is a curious fatalism in that obsessive allergy to the most minimum pain (not very different of the passive and fool resignation in front of the misfortune), because, even when it is logical and sensible to avoid the useless suffering, there is a vital difficulty inherent in our condition of men, a dose of risk and of hardness without which the human existence cannot be developed with fullness. 

I want with this to say that our misfortunes, our small shipwrecks, even our worse enemies, help us to harden, they oblige us to activate in our interior deposits of dynamism, of courage, of unsuspected abilities.  The fortitude of the character of a person, his value, has much relation with the quantity of difficulties that this person is capable to accept without succumbing.  The obstacles and the difficulties invite him to do the things better. They prompt him to elevate above the fear and the pusillanimity. 

A life developed in the middle of difficulties uses to produce richer personalities than the ones that have been formed in the comfort or in the abundance.  It is not that one has to desire the misery or the annoyance, but it is dangerous to carry a life too much commode or to be too much soft in front of the own pains or to be enclosed in the role of victim. 

To say that one suffers a lot when, objectively, he is barely suffering implies to remain disarmed before entering the battle, to become oneself incapable of confronting a true suffering.  The ones that tend to think thus need to leave the error by feeding thoughts that stimulate their interior energy, that generate happiness and enthusiasm.  They have the need to cultivate the liveliness, the dynamism, a serene courage. 

To the victimist's rhetoric, that tends to be exhausted by only explaining itself, one must respond seeking reasonable solutions, feasible alternatives.  And for that one must begin by expressing the difficulties in terms that admit our overcoming.  Because one of the first effects of the tedious insistence on the own problems are that they impede us to distinguish well among what we can change and what is outside of our reach: in the victimist's obsession, all the adversities lived as an unappealable sentence of a dark destiny. 

The man becomes important when he does not remain fortified inside himself, but he is impelled in something that carries him to surpass himself.  When he yields in front of the exhalations of the conformism, he goes down; when he takes refuge in the selfishness, he goes down also.  If he is obsessed for being protected against every minimum opposition, he will be finished finding himself with a vital fragility that drowns him and overwhelms him. 

81.  The temptation of the innocence

We have said that there are, basically, two ways to undertake an emotional, familial, professional or whichever failure.  The first one is to assume the own fault and to jump to conclusions that can carry us to learn valuable things of that misfortune.  The second one is to blame to the others and to seek with despair external heads responsible of our misfortune.  The first form serves to acquire experience to surpass the failure; with the second one it is easy to fall again in the failure and to blame again to other, instead of doing a healthy exam of our responsibilities. 

The victimist's style use to be connected with negative feelings such as the envy, the jealousy and the grudge.  They tend to be legitimized in name of passed misfortunes. They protect themselves with all the present sufferings or with the past sufferings, and with that they assume a kind of immunity patent with which they justify their attitude.  That memory of the passed misfortunes constitutes for them an endless reserve of resentments.  And, if someone reproaches it, maybe they admit that their attitude is not very exemplary, but they assure that their passed sufferings justify that "light incorrectness". 

Another of their characteristic notes is the sensitivity, which causes them to react with agitation in front of any criticism.  In all, they see evil intentions.  The smaller objection immediately is considered as an offense.  Everywhere they see hostility, conspiracies and contempt.  In the most extreme cases, they feel satanized by all the people (curious paradox that of the satanized satanizer) and afflicted with a surprising megalomania. They fall in the syndrome of the conspiracy or of the plot, so much in its aggressive version as in the opposite one, of renunciation and passiveness (why to do nothing if a so powerful force is plotting such things against me or against us). 

It is frequent that they wrap their attacks in a cloak of guilelessness, because they assure that the unique thing that they do is to defend them.  Their ideas are refutable with difficulty, because they turn around whichever argument transforming it into a test of the omnipotence or of the subtlety of the offenders.  And as the revenge induces with facility to similar reactions in the others, they feel also innocent victims of an aggression, the poison of the victimism is inoculated in the others with the fight, and goes being extending more and more when each new step of the resentment rises: how much reason we had in suspecting that he was a scoundrel.  A victimist mimicry is produced, that confers to both parts in conflict the same eternal impression of being unjustly mistreated. 

When passed sufferings are invoked to justify attitudes that, however how much are they adorned, they transmit the stench of the resentment and of the desire of revenge. The most sensible procedure is to distrust those people that seek to be charged of arguments for repeat, as soon as they can, the same actions that they regret to have suffered. 

To have in mind the pains of the past can be enricheful, but that memory can be corrupted if it is allowed to be impregnated of the grudge.  When the memory carries us to reopen injuries of the past, seeking perhaps to legitimize a dark desire of compensation, then the memory becomes slave of the wrong, it becomes a power that revives the tensions, it irritates the animosity and it reconstructs the past and it rewrites it accumulating each time new motives to its favor. 

If the people or the families or the countries dedicate themselves to ruminate into their respective pains, it will be difficult that they live in peace and agreement.  When someone stirs morbidly in the past, always he can find prejudices to allege, reasons to disinter the war-axe of the violence, the contempt or the lack of solidarity.  Always there are motives to not surpass the reciprocal disagreements, but, if we want to live in good tuning with the others, we should draw a line on our ancient dissensions of long ago and to allow that the past bury those failures.  It consists not only to forget simply, but to forgive and to learn to avoid that those errors could be repeated, to be opposed with firmness to them.  The pardon is what leaves free passage to who do not desire to change on their shoulders with the terrible weight of the old resentments. 

82.  The barrier of sound

The pilot Chuck Yeager initiated the era of the supersonic flights in October 14, 1947, when he broke the famous sound barrier, that "invisible wall of bricks" that so puzzled maintained to the scientific community of the time. 

By then, some investigators assured to have sure scientific data by which that barrier should be impenetrable.  Others said that, when the airplane reached the speed Mach 1, it would suffer a tremendous impact in their fuselage and would exploit.  Did neither lack in the middle of that debate who ventured as possible things to happen leaps backwards in the time and other surprising and unpredictable effects. 

The case was that the historic day of 1947, Yeager reached with his airplane Bell Aviation X-1 the speed of 1.126 kilometers per hour (Mach 1.06).  There were diverse doubts and controversies on if he had truly surpassed that speed, but three weeks later he reached Mach 1.35, and six years later he arrived to Mach 2.44, producing that the myth of that impenetrable barrier finally disappeared. 

In his autobiography, Yeager wrote:  "That day of 1947, the faster I went, the smoother the flight was.  When the indicator indicated Mach 0.965, the needle began to vibrate, and shortly after it jumped in the scale above Mach 1.  I believed that I was seeing visions!  I found me flying at a supersonic speed and that went so smoothly that my grandmother had been able to go seated there behind having lemonade". 

"It was then when I understood -continued Yeager- that the true barrier was not in the sound neither in the sky, but in our head, in our way to present the things." 

In our daily life, at times, it can happen to us something similar.  We have put in our head many barriers to our personal improvement, and it seems to us that to surpass them is somewhat impossible, or at least that it would suppose to us a tremendous effort or it would embitter us the existence: something similar to what happened fifty years ago to whom spoke of the mysterious sound barrier. 

Nevertheless, to surpass the barrier of our defects or our limitations is something that, without being easy -as it was not easy to surpass that sound barrier-, is not neither so difficult.  And above all, that, when we achieve it, it is probable that, as happened to Yeager that historic day, we find a new dimension of the life, perhaps stranger for us, and that results a lot more satisfactory and gratifying of what we could imagine. 

The road of the virtue and of the values is a road that remains hidden for many people that see it as somewhat cold, boring or sad, when, in reality, it is a seductive, interesting and happy road.  We put an example.  To work or to do always as minimum as possible, or to show oneself egotist and unsolidary with the companions, is the approach that governs the life of quite enough people.  Some of them perhaps think that to work with pledge and illusion, or thinking about the others, is a utopian approach, an inaccessible dream, an ideal for ingenuous.  Other perhaps say that it is really a very pretty desire, but they see it as somewhat distant and exhausting; or that it would suppose to them such an effort that it does not compensate to them neither to try it; or that they have tried it but they have had a lack of will.  Others will say that they have also tried it, but because of (put here what it proceeds), now they already pass from all.  And, in almost all the cases, they seem to ignore that they same are the main damaged with that attitude. 

That famous debate of over fifty years ago is repeated frequently in the daily life of many people.  Perhaps the best in this case is to abandon the fatalism and to cross that barrier and to see what happens.