It may be a rather simplistic view of the world, but I’m firmly of the opinion that there are basically two types of people – those who tend to adopt a victim mentality, and those who choose to deal with things. There are, of course, varying degrees of these behaviours and they can change from person to person over time, depending on circumstances and situation – and it’s entirely possible to swing from one extreme to the other, or even to take diametrically opposite positions in relation to different circumstances at one and the same time.
I’m not saying either approach is wrong or right, good or bad – we’re all different and we all find own way through the challenges that life throws at us, doing whatever it takes that will work to our advantage; the trick lies in knowing which route to take and having the wherewithall to take it. Speaking personally, I’m quite definitely in the ‘deal with it’ camp. I’m not particularly good at being a victim: I’d rather get things sorted than let them sort me, any day.
Whilst we’re on the subject, I think there’s a lot than can be learned from SL about human nature. The virtual world is pretty much real life in microcosm, and it can act as a lens that magnifies traits and characteristics, making them far more apparent and evident than they might appear to us in RL. In particular, the dramas and challenges of the virtual world seem to elicit a far stronger response than we see in the real world – reactions tend to be more extreme and emotions tend to run deeper for some reason. So when things do go wrong in SL, people can and do go overboard in terms of how they handle them. We can probably all think of virtual acquaintances who go into victim mode at the slightest provocation – and they make sure that everyone around them knows it too! Similarly, there are those who will take on a crusade against the merest suggestion of a perceived injustice, with all guns blazing and a zeal that is all but incomprehensible to those around them.
Thankfully, there are also a considerable number of pragmatic people in SL, who are quite capable of rolling with life’s punches, without resorting to either extreme. However, SL should be a salutary lesson to us all… Once we’ve seen just how destructive, self-serving and ineffective such behaviours can be in the virtual world, we should perhaps be more willing to take a more measured and studied approach to our real world problems too?
In fact, when we consider life in those terms, what we might perceive as problems aren’t quite such an issue anyway. If our normal approach is to be a victim, then there’s a chance that every challenge we face will be perceived as something imposed upon us, about which we have no choice, and against which we stand no chance. If we take the opposite approach, we can find ourselves ’tilting at windmills’ – with every problem assuming mammoth proportions, against which we must rail and rage, usually to our own detriment and bringing little reward. Moderation is usually the best answer: To not be overwhelmed and pushed down by life’s challenges, but nevertheless, to assert ourselves and take positive action that will place us in the best possible position to move forward.
There was a time that I would do whatever was needed to get a post out on this blog – if that meant sneaking in a few paragraphs during a short break from work, staying up until stupid o’clock to get a piece finished, or missing meals, appointments and other pursuits to proofread a post, then that’s what I’d do – it was the ‘deal with it’ approach, supersized.
I’ve realised that there is a better way.
Things in my real life are very busy at the moment – I have house guests who are taking a massive toll on my available time; work is extremely busy; my time inworld has gone from 2-3 hours a day to about the same amount of time in a whole month; and, soon I’ll be away for a couple of weeks when I won’t have the time, or opportunity – and it’s quite likely I’ll have no internet access either – to blog at all. So, I face a choice… Do I become a victim, throw up my hands in defeat, and quit until better times? Or, do I manically start writing, forgoing food, sleep and essential activity, just to ensure continuity?
Actually, I won’t be doing either: I’m just going to ease back for a few weeks. Worry not, I’ll still be posting, just not as frequently as I usually do. I promise to deliver at least one, maybe two, posts a week just to keep things ticking over until I have more time to commit to the blog, and I have more opportunity to spend time inworld to gather inspiration for writing in the first place! It’s not permanent, and with any luck I’ll be back to normal by October… Just don’t think I’ve died, abandoned you, or been replaced by a bot – I haven’t!
And, you can be assured…
I’ll be back!
“The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.”
Disturbed – The Sound Of Silence