Victimized by a Bag of Trash

A long time ago I moved into a modest apartment in a poorer part of town.  I opened the back window and was at once assaulted by an unpleasant odor.  I soon located the source of the stench: an oversized heavy-duty black trash bag on the back balcony filled with moldy garbage.

I was incensed.  My thinking went along these lines:

  • How could the previous tenant leave that thing there when the garbage bins were directly down the stairs?
  • Why hadn’t the landlord dealt with this before renting the apartment to a new tenant?


I could have called the landlord and insisted that he come over to carry away the offending item (about 20 steps), or I could have quickly and easily removed the object myself.  What did I do?  I disposed of the bag myself after about three days!  Yes, that is how long it took me to get over the fact that life was not conforming to my expectations.

We all have to deal with things that are clearly not our fault.  Many people have barriers placed in their way that actually are higher and more difficult to surmount than other people’s.

My example is trivial, but it did help me look at life in a different light.  After three days of battling reality I finally faced the fact that while I didn’t put the (real and metaphorical) garbage into my life, I sure as hell was the one who needed to get it out.

It was my second step out of victimhood.  The first was moving to that quaint little apartment in the first place.

So you can imagine that I really loved Broc Edwards’ post on Best Practices for Playing the Victim.  I think you’ll enjoy it too.

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