• Michelle Burkhardt

Hero or Victim


We all love a good movie. In one of my previous blogs, I revealed my favorite movie, “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves”. I explained this is my favorite film due to its action, adventure, romance, and of course, a good versus evil triumphed finale where the main character chose to be a hero instead of a victim.

Since, I am referencing my previous blogs, I also shared the latest book that I am reading by Bob Goff, “Everybody, Always”. In this book, Bob explains that every event/story in our life rewinds in our minds and as we “replay” it back to others, we either make ourselves the hero where good things happen or the victim where bad things happen.

To illustrate, let me tell you a story. Recently, I was bumped off an airline flight due to full bookings. After obtaining a seat on the next flight, I had to travel 10 grueling minutes from the terminal to the airplane that was parked in the middle of nowhere on a bus that was full of other passengers who were all squished [like me] in this movable sardine can. Next, I sat in the middle seat on a 10-hour flight that was delayed an hour due to a lavatory “malfunction.” In this version of the story, I appear to be a victim who had to endure the stresses of airline travel and you may even feel sorry for me.

Now, let me give you the hero prospective of the same story. Flying for a very low price is a perk of being married to a pilot. The first flight was full because I am what you call, “Space Available”, and although I did not get a seat on the first flight, I did make the second one which only left an hour later (not to mention it was leaving out of the same area and I did not even have to walk 10 steps). Next, the bus safely drove through a congested tarmac to efficiently bring us to our airplane where the airline boarded over 200 passengers. Then, the mechanics worked diligently to fix the lavatory issue so all the passengers had a working toilet again. Plus, let us not forget how thankful I am that the flight did not cancel, and we arrived safely to our destination. Now, you may ask, “Why a grueling 10 hours”? Well, the flight was 10 hours long because I had the privilege of traveling to Rome with my mother-in-law, Nancy who can now check Italy off her bucket list.

With the same story, I can sound like a victim by using words that make you feel sorry for me. Or, if I choose to look at the positive side, it reveals the many blessings.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

The next time you share a story about the long lines at the grocery store; an exhausting day on the job; or a trip on a crowded airplane during bad weather . . . STOP! And rewrite the script with a hero version. The grocery errand is not a chore, it is a privilege to be able to choose from a huge variety of food; the 8-10 hour work day is not a burden to just bring-home-the-bacon, it is providing self-worth by knowing you have a skill and/or ability to make a difference while receiving a paycheck that supports your family; and finally, that trip on an airplane is more than a way to get from point A to B, it is an amazing invention that has opened up opportunities to see and connect to others all over the world.

I am a work in progress for I am guilty of complaining and “playing the victim/pity card” too. Since, I do not like to shop-not even for clothes (I know! Shocking! And so UnRed-Blooded-American-Girl of me), I often feel very annoyed weaving up and down the aisles. I find I want to be anywhere but in that grocery store. My solution? Stay connected to Christ. He is my main Hero-and my stories are going to point to His blessings. When we focus on the positives during minor daily annoyances, it prepares us to praise Him when life truly brings a larger trial. As we make "Our Life" movie about Christ, people just might turn to His Holy Script and find the greatest Love Story ever!