There Are no Victims

September 30, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I have always been a thinker. Imagining a time when I didn’t let my thoughts muse takes my memory to a scene where I convinced myself that thinking controlled everything.

I was ten years old and riding my bicycle down the neighborhood asphalt slope. Two prankster thugs had threatened to steal my bike a few minutes before. I was riding home, thinking.

“My mom’ll just buy be another one,” between the stutters of fear just before crying.

The teenagers looked at me, half-laughed, and let-go of the handle bars. The red and white frame dropped as the rattle of metal bounced-off the alley’s concrete, the bike contorted on its side.

“Take-it, kid,” one of them said. They both laughed a little more and shook their heads unbelievingly.

Why did they think it was funny to scare a little kid my memory brings-back now. Peddling down towards home I told myself I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. Why didn’t I tell anyone until now? Though you wont believe me when I say it it wasn’t embarrassment or shame, it’s true.

I still don’t know why I didn’t need to tell anyone. It’s almost as if thinking about it was enough. Things happened and that was it. Making sense of them, or at least trying to, was what mattered. It’s still that way. It has always been that way. Always in my mind.

If you ask about something that happened I’ll answer, yet happenstance is just that. No judgement, right or wrong, just choice in how to react. I don’t see what happens as stories to retell or relive. What happens is just the thing that happened. It’s between the world and me. Sometimes bad, sometimes good.

Thinking, I am realizing, neutralizes the story’s emotion. Even when my thoughts grow to anger, sadness, or exaggerated too far that way or this way, thinking sets actions in their place. One of my favorite bands has a line that captures the feeling of this idea: “There are no victims only participants.” What I get from that lyric is that everything is filtered through our thoughts. One makes what actually happens inspirational, detrimental, a crutch to not improve, or a push to find solutions. All by thinking.

Years later as I continued to tell myself that thinking controls everything I found many who had come to the same realization and had ways, strategies, theories to heighten our collectively found power over our existence. When talking to a friend about what some call “to quiet the mind” one day I caught myself saying “I think I think too much.” My friend laughed and repeated what I’d said.

“Yeah,” I said, laughing once It registered.

I still laugh. I laugh because I know it’s a good thing to think too much. It really is.

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