Friday, April 13, 2007

victims as villians

I believe in the balance of humanity. I can say that I have faith in the balance of humanity. I believe that historically there is significant evidence of this balancing process. I cannot suggest to you exactly how this balance is achieved.

Pretty heady stuff, Papa. What is your point?

A victim is characterized as such because they have suffered from or entered into a relationship with an insult or injury. No one will refute that when my daughter fell and broke her arm she was the victim of an accident. No one will refute the feeling of pain that she felt as a result of the injury. (My daughter was properly treated by trained professionals and has recovered fully from her injury.)

She was not treated as a villain because she recognized the balance of the situation; gravity cannot be denied, literally or metaphorically. She accepted that in a real world circumstance if she did not maintain proper balance she would be subject to the laws of physics as we know them. In this case the infraction resulted in the insult to her arm.

Imagine for a moment the result if my daughter had railed against the laws of physics? How would she have been treated by her peers or even unknowns in the community if she had attempted to lay a claim of culpability on gravity. How quick might we all be to paraphrase the Bard and say, 'I think she doth protest too much!' Then were she, or a band of "interested" anti-gravity types, to continue on lambasting the celestial pull would overall sentiment begin to sway away from such a claim?

It is so easy to speak of the simple laws of physics, a falling child and an injury. Where might the balance be in a complex social circumstance involving the vague precepts of propriety and grievous insults? Certainly the insult is real. Of that there is no question. Then a groundswell of sentiment calls into question the veracity of the victim's claims. A counter swell speaks in support. And when the smoke clears the victim is seen as the villain. The original insult is not lessened just that the balance of humanity has prevailed.

Let me be clear on this point; I am not qualified to judge the specifics of any given circumstance. The only observation that I make here is that the larger perspective, the greater community with an unspoken voice, has re-established the balance of humanity. Further, let there be no doubt that being a 'victim as villain' hurts perhaps more than did my daughter's broken arm. Yet I, as a concerned father, and we as a concerned Internet community cannot prevent the rightful process of balance in humanity or the downward draw of gravity.

. . .