When things go repeatedly wrong we can get it into our heads that somehow the world is out to get us. We have needs and wants and we get angry, upset or down when they’re not met.
It’s something I’ve had to face myself. In my own immaturity I once thought there was something wrong with me or that the world was a messed up place.
I often thought that in many ways the world was stacked against me, I didn’t have the rich parents or the opportunities that others did. So perhaps I didn’t try too hard or take too many risks.
This kind of thinknig is an egotistical attitude, a way to avoid taking responsibility for our own life. If everyone is out to get you then there no point in trying to succeed.
Such an attitude is misguided and is in one way the basis of our suffering. We find it hard to accept that the world is indifferent to our existence, neutral in its workings. So when something goes wrong it must be someone’s fault or our fault.
Either way, our attitude becomes that of a victim, always blaming others or something else as the reason why we’re not successful or happy.
‘It’s not fair, it’s not right’, ‘why did this happen to me!’. The plaintive plea for someone to make it all better. It just shows that we haven’t grown up as an individual.
The reality is the world doesn’t bend itself to anyone. Why should it be anything else? A bee doesn’t sting you through malice. Rain doesn’t fall upon you in rage.
There’s no overriding intelligence or grand conspiracy out to get you. You’re not that important!
Even problems that appear to be created by others deliberately can be a simple mistake. They are often not thinking about you.
The driver that cuts you up may be running late for an appointment and didn’t see you.
The friends who ignore your calls may be too busy. The family member who forgets your birthday may be in a crisis of their own.
Stop thinking it’s all about you.
It’s not that life is unfair, you just don’t know the rules
This is a problem more in the west I think. Because we live in a highly individualistic society we seem to breed more egocentric people. More self-entitled, self-centric. Who complain more about their rights than their responsibilities.
The solution is not to get to carried away when things go badly, ( or when they go to well).
Don’t go overboard and become enraged or overjoyed because you didn’t or did get what you want. Neither indicates the cosmos is out to get you or is in your corner.
I remember the bit in Kipling’s If poem. The part about treating failure and success two imposters. This seems to be what it’s about.
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same
The cosmos is indifferent so get over yourself. The idea of the cosmos on your side or against you is just your own bloated self-importance.
What we need to do is put aside the victim mentality and accept that whilst success is never a certainty, we do have the power to find success and happiness. Taking that responsibility is one of the most important lessons we can learn.