Now don't get me wrong, I am as upset as the next person when bad things happen to good people. Or in fact, even when bad things just happen to anyone. But there are two results that I really don't like and would love to see stopped. Firstly, that we need to find someone to blame and secondly that, having been badly done to by the perpetrator, it is now my right that someone will help and rescue me from my predicament.
S!*+ happens. Fact. The world is an imperfect place and things go wrong. Sometimes these are pure accidents or acts of nature (I don't believe they are deliberate, and therefore malicious, acts of God). No-one is to blame. But as soon as they are even inadvertently the result of someone else's actions, they get blamed. And once that process has started, people won't let it rest until they 'get justice'. Look at the way the Glasgow bin lorry guy is being chased by some of the victim's families (but not all you notice) even though he didn't commit any criminal act. Will the families feel better if he gets punished? And what if he 'gets away with it' - how will they feel then. There comes a point when we need to accept that a dreadful event has impacted our life and we need to deal with it and move on. Adding the experience into our life story, learning from it and consigning it to the past is part of how we are resilient, able to better deal with similar catastrophes in the future. The alternative tends to result in us becoming more bitter and not moving forwards.
Secondly, there is an unholy trinity of perpetrator, victim and saviour roles that many people tend to fulfil in life. The first is someone who deliberately causes other humans to suffer. They are generally recognised to be bad or at least to be the enactor of bad things. The victim and saviour get a lot less bad press though but I would argue are similarly toxic to our society.
The victim is the person who is quick to recognise when someone has maligned them in small or major ways; when something has gone wrong and they are harmed as a result. They play on people's sympathy and get solicited help as a result. They blame people and look for retribution and maybe restitution as well. Again, I'm not wanting to kick people when they are down already, but this is not the best way to deal with bad stuff impacting your life. It starts to create a culture with a sense of entitlement. "Because of this... I should get that". It leads to other people's lives being ruined as a result of being pilloried for what are sometimes innocent mistakes or genuine accidents that they were involved in or somehow unwittingly instigated. The victims never really let go of their hurts and certainly don't come to terms with them, assimilating the experience into their life's tapestry. And finally, people who still have the capacity for independence start to depend on being helped and can't stand on their own two feet again.
Finally we have the saviour who unnecessarily gives help where it is not completely required and they help to grow the victim mentality in others. Again, I am not saying that helping people is wrong - I'm all for offers of assistance when someone might require it. However, just like the 7 year old I was talking to on Saturday, who insisted on giving her wee brother a piggy back all the time, even though he was quite capable of walking, giving this kind of help eventually makes the assisted person weaker, less able, more dependent.
So I think it's great if the government provides some assistance for victims who truly need it and I'm saddened by people who feel aggrieved that they need to get private counselling. However, we can learn from all of this that if we want to become stronger and more resilient we need to be more accepting of the bad stuff and deal with it, whilst continually being on the lookout for the victim mentality arising in ourselves, tackling perpetrators and holding back from acting as saviours.