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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Sanction of The Victim

Of all of the concepts in Objectivism, I think that The Sanction of The Victim is one that I hold closest to me. It is defined, by Ayn Rand's intellectual heir, Leonard Piekoff as:

The “sanction of the victim” is the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the “sin” of creating values.

He speaks of being inured to being told to apologize for your virtue by those who have none.

I refuse to see myself as a victim. I don't let any one thing, one act that has happened in my entire life experience define me. The me I know I am. I refuse to let myself be victimized by anyone. I am the sum of my experiences, not just one thing that happened on a Tuesday afternoon in 1972. If wanted to be emotionally stunted, then I guess I could, but I don't see the profit in that. You can't hurt me unless I allow you to do it. And I can count the number of people I allow to hurt me on one hand.

Today I was informed by my youngest daughter that she and her siblings were going to spend Thanksgiving at my sister's house, "with family". My response was vulgar and angry. "Who the f$ck am I?" Evidently I'm family when they need money, car repairs, video games or art supplies and books for school. However, when it comes to Family Holidays, I am not family. Am I angry? You betcha that. Am I hurt? Hell, yes.


Because I've invested years of my life trying to raise decent human beings and in one sentence, one response to a question I see that I have failed miserably. I'm not mad, entirely, at them. I have failed in some sense to instill in them the values that I hold dear. I try to think where I went wrong, and frankly, who knows? Children and young adults are so self-absorbed and self-centric that they literally cannot conceive of a universe of which they are not the centerpiece. Selfishness and self-interest are the keystones of Objectivist Philosophy, however, we don't use the words like Liberals do when we say them. Because words have a meaning, and we know that.

I think that this is a good teachable moment for my children, considering the season. Since I'm not family I am not beholden to buy them any gifts. In fact, now that I think about it, family don't pay rent for living in my house. Oh! More money for my Christmas budget! Family don't have to buy their own groceries, pay electric, water, etc.,. Family are loved and indulged. Acquaintances don't get off so easy. Strangers don't get money handed to them when someone knows they need it in recognition for little things that were done around the house that meant a lot to the people freed up from doing them. Mere people that you know don't get their brakes fixed on their car because I know they need it. People who don't know me can't ask to have their lunch account paid up because they want Chik-Fil-A.

Damn, I think I am liking this! I can't see why I got so hurt and pissed off. Now I can concentrate on me. I see a nice vacation coming my way!

Why? Because I know it's not my fault they are careless with the feelings of other people and I refuse to feel guilt about their actions. Let them reap the benefit of their care. I'll be too busy enjoying my considerably lightened burden.

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