Because We Are All Victims (Thoughts On Les Miserables)

Les MiserablesI still cannot comprehend how I was able to submit a reaction paper for school like more than 10 years ago when it is just only now that I have fully understood the story of Les Miserables. Hahaha! I’m not a big fan (of any movie actually) In fact, it has been like a week since the movie came out and if it weren’t for my boredom, I wouldn’t really dare watch it. But I’m glad I did! Now I understand why people are going crazy about this whole LesMis thing. It’s not simply a story with beautiful characters and songs. The whole plot of the movie itself it is really a thought-provoking one.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a movie review. These are just merely thoughts. I know the movie is obviously about forgiveness, grace, love and a lot of other stuff. But I want to share to you another view of it – of how I see it. In fact, these are just random things that happened to pop in my head, and after a few hours of pondering, I will try my best put it all together now in this entry.

I believe that in some point of our lives, we have been in the shoes of every character in the story. We became prisoners of our past; of the things we hated most; of the unforgettable pain that people gave us; of injustice; of the years we suffered. We are prisoners of our wounds. And that’s what we hold on to. We have set in our minds that we are the victims. Even though we were given a chance to make things different, sometimes we still cling to that idea – that we are the victims and will always remain that way. So we resolve to ourselves that thought and impress in our hearts that we should just remain looking down and not look people in the eye. Why? It’s because we are the victims. We have gotten used to it and think that there’s nothing we can do about it.

We are desperate. So we become fierce in such a way that we no longer think if what we’re doing will bring us good or not. We have embraced what we thought our fate is. So we sell ourselves – our efforts, our time and even emotions to the things which we think are the better option. We are in so much pain that choosing the right things become blurry resulting to more hurt and disappointment. But still we decide to fight. We fight for our dreams. It’s just that we fight using the wrong things. We fight without thinking. And that is actually even more painful.

But we’ll come to a point (and it is my prayer for everyone) when we will declare a war, not only to the people who have wronged us but also to ourselves. We will continue to fight because we have realized that we have a hope. A hope that this idea, this connotation of being the victim could be wiped away. We learn to stand up and realize that we can no longer be like this forever. We learn how to form barricades. That we don’t just use the offensive strategy in this fight. We begin to think and learn how to defend ourselves. We begin to think that we could actually win this battle. We now have a hope in our hearts that we could be set free from this idea of being the victim forever.

But you know what? Sometimes we are so attached with the idea that we are the sufferers here and those people who have made us victims are our enemies. We tend to think and ask God, “Why me? I have done nothing wrong.” We take so much pity on ourselves. We are so angry with the world because they do not know what it’s like to be in our place. They don’t know what it feels like – how painful and how unfair life is to us. We are so consumed to that thought that we forget to realize that we are actually all victims here. Yes, everyone; even the person who broke your heart, the professor who failed you, your friend who betrayed you, or even your parents whom you hated for years. We have been victims by so many things like our pride, selfishness, greed, and a lot more.

I am a victim.
You are a victim.

You can simply choose to tolerate that idea. Or you can stand up and do something about it. You can choose to hate, you can prefer to run, or you can just simply decide to forgive. I know forgiving is not the easiest thing to do. Trust me. But who are we not to forgive? I, too, was forgiven by those people whom I have hurt in the past. And I, too, was forgiven by God. And that’s all that matters. And besides, we are all victims, even if we don’t want it. So why don’t we try to see people not as our enemies but as our co-victims as well? Why don’t we stop hating them, but instead, learn to forgive and learn to understand that we have a greater enemy. And he’s the one who’s behind all these.

“Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8

We are all victims. It just depends on what you’re going to do about it.

Not A Victim

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