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June 29, 2017

Millennial Victims—it’s Time to Become Heroes.

Being the victim is overrated.

Yet, I see it everywhere. It seems as though there is more satisfaction in playing the victim than there is in assuming responsibility for ourselves and those around us—at least that appears to be what our culture is peddling.

If we presume that we are inherently oppressed—that our humanity is incessantly stripped from us by our ever-so-vicious and diabolical system—then we induce a misplaced sense of self-righteousness. This actually feels quite good, at first, because it implies a complete alleviation of all personal responsibility, but it is by no means a sustainable way to be.

This deeply troubles me.

There is a trend among millennials to pay more attention to our entitlements (what we are owed by society) than to actually hold ourselves accountable for our own existence.

This is a problem.

There must be a balance between our presumption of certain unalienable rights and the responsibility we take for ourselves as individual human beings. Rights and responsibilities are not mutually exclusive—in fact, they are completely integral to each other. They walk hand in hand, and it is this balance between the two that has made Western civilization so effective (for the most part).

I would kindly suggest that rather than playing “the victim,” we wake up to the sheer vastness of our own potential.

This is what it means to be “the hero.”

Heroism is embedded in the very fabric of Western culture. We have worshipped heroes throughout our history, and we have done so because they represent our highest potential, epitomizing the greatest extent of our capacity.

There is a necessity for heroism in the world.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard went something like this: “Be the hero of your story.”

This seems cliché and hyperbolic until we actually take that advice and see the results for ourselves.

Being the hero of our story means taking responsibility for ourselves—fully accepting the consequences of the human condition.

If we see ourselves purely as victims, then we simply will not have a positive impact on the world. The only way to impact the the world is by being the best kind of person we can possibly be—being the hero.

I know this idea seems played out, but it is so useful to look at life this way.

We have to ask ourselves at a certain point, “Why the hell are superhero movies so g*ddamn popular?!”

It is not an accident: They got the archetypes right.

The will to heroism is an essential part of what makes us human.

Life is suffering, right? The solution to the problem of suffering is unveiling meaning, which is achieved through self-actualization.

Heroism is the answer to suffering.

I feel so strongly about all of this due to my dealings with chronic illness over the past few years.

Being a profoundly debilitated young man is by no means a luxury. Through this experience, I have had to take responsibility for myself rather than simply focus on what has been taken away from me by my condition.

If I had chosen the path of victimhood, I would likely have committed suicide some years back. I am not even remotely exaggerating.

Being the victim kills our soul. This is why I think it is so important to say these things, particularly for my own generation. This sense of being oppressed victims has to go away, because the vast majority of people who were born in Western civilization are not oppressed relative to the standards of living in most of the world.

We need more heroes. We need more young people desiring influence and respectability, because that is the only way we can actually affect the functions of the world.

I’ll put it this way: I would be way more comfortable with the future of my unborn children if more millennials were getting their act together—making themselves into powerful, effective human beings in the most fundamental manner—rather than waving signs that display catchy, yet vaguely interpretable, slogans at people they don’t know.

That’s just my opinion.

To be the hero is to master the art of being human.

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Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Chris Highland/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman

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