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Victim of Circumstance

I don’t mind fiction, however in High School, I felt that I had suffered a misfortune, in having to read Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.  Set in the Depression of the 1870s in rural England.  Tess gets a raw deal in life, and her misfortunes are unrelenting.  It was a long slow, punishing grind for my Sci-fi loving 15-year-old self.  A miserable experience sums it up.  I am clearly not a literary critic; however, Tess was a victim of circumstance.

Considering this there are those of us that are a bit like Tess.  In the context of today, in much more fortunate times, there are those of us who are a victim of circumstance.  Everything that happens to us is ‘outside of our control’ or ‘someone else’s fault’.  Often, connected to this is a lack of self-awareness and an inability to exercise self-control.

Where are we on the scale?
  1. Tess – at the mercy of others
  2. Mostly doing what others want of us
  3. Balancing responsibilities given and set by self
  4. Successfully self-leading and owning
  5. Richard Branson – I am in charge


The most inspiring people in our society are those that use their talents, values and initiative to achieve the remarkable.  Those that challenge convention, that use initiative, resilience and find a way to succeed.  They are the ones that recognise and own their situation.

At work, many of us are simply trying to keep the balls in the air, to get by and do a good job.  But do we own it?  It is easy to brush things off and say it was someone else’s fault.  Often that feels like a cop out, if not to you, to everyone else.

A bit like being left alone with chocolate biscuits/cookies.  There are those of us that demolish them and blame others for buying/baking/leaving them.  Then there are those of us who had a nibble and expressed our gratitude.

Are we a victim of circumstance?  Or can we flip it into ownership and impact?  It can take courage, improving our situation and maybe inspiring others along the way.


Photo credit: Nagendra TS on Unsplash.


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