Do you ever get the impression
that some people always see themselves as the “victim” and never see themselves
as the “cause” or “reason”?
It usually starts when they are
young – “..they pick on me mummy because I am skinny (or this or that)”. Then what does mummy say? Probably not asking what was happening at the
time, what did their child do, what caused the problem, and so on. So when they get older (you will note that I
do not say grow up), the world is still against them, everybody has
difficulties with them and they still do not look at themselves.
Looking at the world trouble
spots today and difficulties in Australia it seems that this “always the victim
and never the cause” mentality becomes a national or if not at least an identifiable
characteristic. Nobody seems to have
ever told the perceived underdog that things are never one-sided and also said
that they should look at themselves in a mirror. Closely associated with this victim mentality
is the tendency to “shoot the messenger” – the perceived underdog does not like
any advice on the matter and becomes highly critical and rejects anyone who endeavours
to convey the reality of the situation.
They are also likely to adopt the position of “if you not for me you are
against me”, and you would have to say that this is pretty uncompromising and
So how do you deal with someone
who is like this? If they are just a
face in the crowd and one with which you have no commercial, neighbourly or
fraternal relationship just ignore them.
Commercial imperatives will always overshadow these issues but do not
become a repeat customer. You probably
have to put up with neighbours and always remember the adage that good fences
make good neighbours. Fraternal
relationships create the greatest problems when we should all strive to be
happy and communicate happiness to others.
One can put up with it to some extent among your brethren and eventually
the perceived perpetually wounded should work out that this attitude does not
conduce to produce good relationships.
The real problem is if someone with this sort of attitude somehow
penetrates our senior ranks, especially if they unfortunately commit their hurt
whinges to writing.
We all expect our leaders, and
I am thinking of the office of a Worshipful Master, to be of the calibre that
do not attract undue person attacks and whose behaviour decisions can easily
withstand snide comments and gossip.
Their community and fraternal standing should be such that anything
other than the highest order of conduct and performance is expected and
anything else is unbelievable. We expect
our leaders to concentrate on the positives and in freemasonry it is all about
brotherly love, relief and truth; everything else fades into insignificance in
a very short period of time. We expect
our leaders to withstand a bit of flack should it get through and just get on
with the job with confidence. If they
have the presence to stand high, “eye balling it” with their detractors, the
latter will withdraw – they are usually gutless. What we need are the right leaders with the
political capital, above reproach and presence to stand up, be counted and be
positive. Mummy will not help in
freemasonry nor can an amicus curio.
Results will be the most telling measure of success. Adversity can make good leaders look better
but make poor leaders worse.
Yours fraternally ,