No Longer a Victim

I have experienced forms of xenophobia. I live with injustice as a reality of life, and I know that others have it unimaginably worse, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling offended, disgusted, or inferior. I try to fight it and strive to make the world a better place because I know that my position is so much more privileged than millions of others, but that doesn’t mean my experiences aren’t valid. That doesn’t mean I cannot be a victim

However, it often feels like I take these unjust experiences I have, and allow them to define me. Yes, I am a victim of inequality, as many of us are, but as I continue to strive for equal treatment and opportunity for others, I consequently remind myself of the unfairness in my life. I feel that the victim mindset has begun to impact me negatively, and wonder if others feel the same way. We definitely need to recognize that the prejudices that impact many of our lives are incredibly real and legitimate, but once we allow them to consume us, we almost begin to oppress ourselves with the labels we have been given by society, as opposed to society treating us unfairly for them. As well, viewing the world as a victim fosters judgement, resentment, and anger, illustrating aspects of humanity that we are striving to see less of. I do not want to contribute to the problem that I so badly want to change.

As I’ve mentioned, I am undoubtedly guilty of labelling myself as a victim. I see the world through a lens sensitive to prejudice, inequality, or hatred because of race, religion, gender and more. Although I often find this lens to be quite empowering, it can also make me feel resentful. Upon reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to become better at turning on the lens when necessary, but staying present throughout life and not becoming as emotionally invested in injustice. In no way does this mean I will ever stop fighting for what I know is right, or acknowledging the inequalities that need to be changed; it just means that I want to stop judging the world from a victimized stance, and instead use my observations to bring good to the world as opposed to negative blame. I am determined to live my best life regardless of the stigma surrounding who society believes I am. I understand that it's often easier said than done, but the hardships we face should not make us victims; we have to give them the power to make us heroes with strength, understanding, and passion to change existing injustice.

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We would like to acknowledge that today is MLK Day; we appreciate the love, hope and justice Martin Luther King Jr. spread, resulting in a powerful civil rights movement. This being said, we understand that we all have a long way to go, and we keep in our hearts those who are being faced with brutality, oppression, and a lack of human rights. We hope that everyone will think, act and react with kindness, empathy and a sense of justice going forward, and we pledge to do the same. We pledge to be mindful of events occurring, to be grateful for our safety, to share the stories of our fellow humans, and take action wherever we can to prevent further crises from occurring.