Victim Mentality – Mhabeni Tungoe, HoD, Department of Education

Mhabeni Tungoe

Are we in that category of people where every problem in our life is someone else’s fault? Or are we among the handful of people who accepts the responsibilities that comes along and tries to tackle it. Yes, it is very easy to play the blame game and remove ourselves from taking responsibility. Perhaps, instead of avoiding our responsibilities or  complaining and making excuses, accepting it will enable us to lead a more contented life and definitely make a difference in the society. 

“Victim Mentality “


In life, we experience moments of joy, happiness, sorrow, and sadness. All these emotions are the elements of life. Likewise, issues and difficulties arise in all fields of human society. At present in Naga society there are certain concerns  and issues, that needs to be addressed  whether be it in the field of economic, political, social, personal, workplace  etc. It is unfortunate but quite evident that   majority of the people in the society tends to blame each other and does not take responsibility if some problem arises in our social system. There are only a few individuals who are ready to take charge and not try to find faults in others but instead try to solve the problems. 

Instead of blaming one another how good it will be if we take the responsibility for the actions and deeds we have done and rectify the errors and improve our society and ourselves as well. As  parents, children, students, leaders, and citizens of Nagaland we need to be responsible for overcoming the dilemma of life. I feel that being responsible is the most important guiding principle and the core of life. It should be inculcated and instilled in every individual beginning from home environment.

Being responsible means being reliable, keeping our words and fulfilling our commitments. It means accepting what we do and say and willing to face the consequences. Those people who have a sense of   responsibility   do not make excuses for their actions or blame others when things go wrong. Being responsible also means developing our inner potentials. Every move we take towards being responsible and productive helps us to raise our self-esteem and improve relationships with our family, friends, and co-workers. Taking up our responsibilities seriously can help us to live a less stressful life and gain the respect of others. I would like to share one poem which is written by Charles Osgood, which reflect the aspects of irresponsibility and blaming each other –
“The Responsibility poem”-Charles Osgood
There was a most important job that needed to be done,
and no reason not to do it, there was absolutely none.
But in vital matters such as this, the thing you have to ask
is who exactly will it be who’ll carry out the task?
Anybody could have told you that everybody knew
that this was something somebody would surely have to do.
Nobody was unwilling; anybody had the ability.
But nobody believed that it was their responsibility.
It seemed to be a job that anybody could have done,
if anybody thought he was supposed to be the one.
But since everybody recognized that anybody could,
everybody took for granted that somebody would.
But nobody told anybody that we are aware of,
that he would be in charge of seeing it was taken care of.
And nobody took it upon himself to follow through,
and do what everybody thought that somebody would do.
When what Everybody needed so did not get done at all,
Everybody was complaining that Somebody dropped the ball.
Anybody then could see it was an awful crying shame,
And Everybody looked around for Somebody to blame.
Somebody should have done the job and everybody should have but in the end, nobody did what anybody could have.
Life gives us choices. Whatever we do, we are the one who chose that path of life. There are people who take complete responsibility for their experience and circumstances and these people are the ones who are able to make the right choices in life as they understand that they are responsible for their choices. However, there are some few people who are irresponsible and keep on blaming others for their choices as well as issues that occur in the society. For instances, if we don’t like our job it is not the fault of the boss, or if we are unhappy in a relationship it is not the fault of the other person. We should never blame each other. When we want to blame our leaders for political, economic, and social problems; Or when we want to blame others for corruption in the society, or when we want to judge people for being inadequate, we need to question ourselves , whether we are  being irresponsible and become a part of these problems instead of solving it?. As a human being, we make mistake but we should move on with life instead of blaming ourselves or others. Because, if we blame others it means we are not going to change or improve and we will remain stagnate without improving in life. In any personal or professional relationship, it takes discipline, commitment, and hard work to achieve success. Let’s be more responsible and allow others the same freedom so that we will be rewarded with more happiness and joy.

We may think that life is sometimes not fair at all. We all faces challenges and learn lessons in life and   while we are down with all the challenges life throws at us, we see that others are doing better than us and living a much easier life. However, we should not be discouraged in this kind of situations. Instead, we need to take life positively because we are responsible for our life. Negativity creates dissatisfactions which hinder our goals and objectives in life. When we become responsible in every aspect of life, we become a giver, rather than a taker. In return, it can create a profound positive impact on the society. The reason why our society/personal life tends to stagnate in development and growth may be because we fear of taking responsibility on issues concerning us and the world. Therefore, let’s all be responsible and play our own role and empower humanity.

Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please


  1. I have read your write-up thrice and every time i read; it made me think about certain aspects of human society. Every society is made up of social groups and every social groups consists of people having their dreams, aspirations, thoughts, opinions, likings, dislikings, attitudes and perspectives. In the context of this complex situation the wonderful thoughts reflected in your write up should be understood. The concept of 'Responsibility' can be understood from individual as well as 'social group' perspective. Every individual has problems at individual level and also at social level as a part of certain social group. Now, the question that has been haunting me is this- whether individual sense of responsibility can overlap social sense of responsibility. Let us understand this situation with example- Individual 'A' is suffering from problems at individual level, he is suffering, his wife, children, whole of his family is suffering. One fine day he decides to take up a responsibility to change the destiny of his family and finally he succeeds. However, on the other hand, the community which 'A' is part of is equally suffering but at larger scale. 'A's newly found prosperity will have no contribution to change the destiny of his community. Now 'A' is in dilemma. He took responsibility to change the destiny of himself and his family, now he is wondering whether to change the destiny of his society is his responsibility as an individual or not. Whether he as an individual required to shoulder a responsibility? whether he as an individual can change the destiny of millions of his society? His dilemma is a dilemma of many people. However, what i understand is, the sense of 'responsibility' should always be understood at larger scale without artificially limiting its application. Suffering is universal and therefore responsibility to take necessary steps to alleviate the suffering should be universal responsibility. When we think about universal brotherhood we should lift up our human spirit beyond the idea of individualism. The idea of justice and happiness cannot be seen from individualistic perspective. If i am blessed with abundance and at the same time someone less fortunate having no single granule of grain to eat then i believe as a human it is my responsibility to see that he survives and similarly the same principle is applicable to society. Artificial ethnic, cultural, tribal, social, political and geographic boundaries cannot limit our sense of responsibilities towards each other. Man is a Man ….whether he is in the jungles of Congo, in the city of Mumbai..or struggling in the Nagaland…Man always remains man. Man will always remain a man of blood and flesh whether he is an untouchable Dalit in India, suppressed Naga of Nagalands, Hungry-malnourished Black from Africa or stateless refugee Tibetan from Tibet…. There is an invisible bond that connect every human being on Earth, and that bond is ….a bond of pain and suffering. We owe this human existence to each other. We destine to shoulder the collective responsibility to transform this burning world of suffering into the world of justice and equality where man will not be judged but loved.


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