Survivor hyperbole – Survivors of [insert victimhood category] – is an ever more popular survivor fad. What is it with the growing popularity of the fad that drives ever more people to assert that they are survivors of something or other? If merely being alive is classified as survival, does that make a mundane life heroic?
An old saw goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and another one, “Adversity makes people tough,” or “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Nothing is perfect. Not even things that kill do kill everyone, but what about things that are not obviously, extremely rarely or not even logically fatal? Is someone who had a tooth pulled a survivor of a tooth extraction?
Some people are lucky enough to escape potentially fatal circumstances. It can and must be argued that no one should consider himself a ‘survivor’ of experiences that rarely cause death but at worst nothing more than various extents of misery or bad feelings. Being glad that those bad experiences are over is without a doubt enjoyable, but why insist that one survived them, when they were merely unpleasant and never posed a serious threat to one’s life?
Still, what about enjoyable experiences? It stands to reason that those must be survived, too. A popular German adage goes: “Nichts is so schlecht zu ertragen als eine Reihe von guten Tagen” (Nothing is as hard to bear as a row of good days). That can be attested to by everyone who ever came back to work, to recuperate after enjoying a long weekend a little too hard. No doubt, survivor/victimhood will eventually get around to include even enjoyable experiences, before the survivor fad has run its course.
The Inconvenient Truth That No One Wants to Talk About
That does not mean that potentially fatal experiences never kill anyone, or that potentially harmful circumstances do not cause any serious harm to many who experience them. Consider how Jordan Peterson and Warren Farrell put that and identify in this video:
Peterson and Farrell identify seriously harmful and even fatal outcomes of single motherhood, of fatherlessness, and of the abrogation of the traditional two-parent nuclear family.
The harmful consequences of that not only kill many of our children, they demonstrably are putting an end to the welfare and continued existence of our civilization. The survivors of that ultimate outcome better be strong enough to deal with some very, very tough living conditions, unless they wish to become extinct, too.
All of us would do well to not merely relish that we ‘survived’ our previous experiences, we better be strong enough and sufficiently wise to consider the consequences of the circumstances affecting our children described in this video by Stefan Molyneux, in which a special needs teacher explains why students and society are in danger:
With virtually all those students being the products of broken families, all are ‘survivors’. A good number of them will survive long enough to become and remain a very real danger to society. That danger will grow. Society cannot endure that unharmed. Some people will remain alive after the decline and fall of our civilization. They will be too busy scavenging from the ruins, rubble and ashes of our civilization to be proud of their survival. That is when survival will no longer be a fad but the primary goal of human existence, just as it was during the age of the cave man as well as after the collapse of every single empire throughout history.