Yesterday morning I read an article in The Sydney Morning Herald. The title was quite a mouthful too; "His brother is one of our most celebrated judges, but Mark Spigelman has an even more extraordinary tale. He survived the Nazis by dressing as a girl". The article put a highlight on the resilience of people who see themselves as survivor, not victims…
Professor Mark Spigelman was born as a Jewish boy born in Poland in late 40s. He survived Holocaust by dressing as a girl because noone would check if he was circumcised. He was one of only 3 children who survived out of around 60,000 Jews living in the small town. More than 60 years later he still live with the horror and the nightmares of the experiences.
As a survivor, he attributed three main characteristics emerged from his experience; their close-knit family, a drive to achieve, and a need to help others. The survival of his parents made him think that he need to actually do good for justifying it. Currently, he is a professor of paleoepidemiology (a study of diseases over period of time) and an activist in anti-Apartheid movement.
Reflecting on this story towards our day-to-day events, I picked up a strong indication of what differentiates those that failed and those that are successful in our society. When you think of those successful people, in whichever undertakings; be it Mother Theresa, Peter the Apostle, Mahatma Gandi, and plenty others. They been through so much pain and repression, but yet they came out at the end as the real winner. Despite no winning celebration nor extravagant commemoration.
On the other hand, we can see there are plenty failures in our society; violent youth, racism frictions, drugs abuse and many others. Most of these are mainly attributed to their historical background, either be racial repression, parents abuse, or others. Yet, when you compare these corresponding reasonings, there are no clear differences in the weight of the burdens. Their causes are truly valid and one can be more significant than others here and there, but they have a totally significant differences in result.
Finally, what I really trying to say is that we should stop looking at ourselves as victim of anything, be it mistreatment from friends/parents/family, lost of one-off opportunity, physical disadvantage, or lack of resource. And when we thought of all these, and we still have the courage to tell ourselves that we are the real survivor, we can then move on to the next stage to fight as the best we can be. The past is behind, and the future will come next. It is better to be ready for the next opportunity, rather than wasting time pointing finger on what went wrong in order to reclaim our rightful disposition.