I was tooling around on wikipedia the other day and found the page for the definition of elitism. On the right hand side was elitism in all its forms, classism, racism, even terms like heightism and mentalism. With all these ways for us to be more sensitive about people, I wonder if we’ll get to the point where no one has to feel bad about themselves, ever. I don’t think this is a good thing.

I can understand being comfortable with traits you can do nothing about, like the colour of your skin, gender, and whatnot, but what if we have to feel good about traits we can change? We need to have our flaws pointed out every once in a while. It’s what keeps us grounded. Being put down too much isn’t healthy either, of course, but if no one says anything bad to you, ever, what’s going to happen the first time someone tells you no?
I got teased as a kid. A lot. I still deal with those experiences to this day, but at the same time I’m also able to look inside myself and take responsibility for who I have become. These days, I don’t mind being teased by people I trust, because that’s how I find out my limitations so I can exceed them. To paraphrase Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, your real friends won’t accept you as you are. They instead will treat you as what you are capable of becoming, and you will become that.

One thought on “Victimism

  1. Sara

    The “heightism” page amused me. Apparently I’ve been discriminated against all my life and didn’t even know it (I’m now 5’1″). When people teased me about my height, I didn’t think it was discrimination. I just thought they were jerks. As well, I had enough small in stature yet very strong role models in my family to not be bothered by what other people thought.

    Don’t get me wrong, discrimination is very real, and it has caused injury to many people. However, when we assign a label to any teasing or slight I don’t think we are really helping the serious discrimination that happens in our society. Perhaps we could instead remember that some people are just anti-social (or jerks) and that their comments do not reflect the great person that we are capable of becoming.

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