Monday, July 23, 2007

Quote of the Week: Bondage of the Mind

On the Powerline scroll Monday is a piece on Hip Hop madness by Myron Magnet. In the quote, Magnet quotes Wynton Marselis on the subject of professional victimhood as in "mind forg'd manacles:"

"Those chains are not only the chains that bind prisoners but also what the poet William Blake called “mind forg’d manacles”—beliefs, attitudes, and habits of feeling that imprison you even when you are outwardly free. For the underclass, those manacles are the beliefs that they’re victims, that they’re entitled to be angry and resentful, that the law is an oppression, that the larger community owes them a living, that education is useless, that sex is without responsibility or even emotion, that they’re not responsible for supporting and nurturing their children, and that because they’re victims they never need to be ashamed of anything they do.

This is so relevant and poignant, in my opinion.

Do you know professional and intractible victims, in their own minds? It is the greatest of curses: people who are spiritually, politically and econonically free in this great country of ours, and have had every advantage, and yet throw it all away on the altar of being wronged and short-changed at some point in the game of life. They feel they have a free pass to whine endlessly about their victimhood and are justified in any and all behaviors, as they cling to their sad badge of being wronged. They simply refuse to ever get over it, whatever that "it" is. Their victimhood obviously gets them something and they aren't about to willingly leave it behind.

Note to remember: We're all sinners. We've all been wronged and can find reasons to be victims. We've all wronged others. Not one person is exempt, no, not one. It's not what happens to us, it's what we do with what happens that makes us who and what we are and that defines our character and ultimately our lives.

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