Survivor Remorse (Greatness or Luck)

Survivor Remorse

  • A mental condition that occurs when a person believes they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic event when others did not.

Have you ever felt it? I hope so. I’m tired of entitled people, acting as if they are best thing since sliced bread.

We are all pretty lucky, if you like the word “lucky” or not, we’re all lucky because we’ve survived something. Lucky that we didn’t get caught doing something we shouldn’t been doing. Lucky to be born. Lucky someone gave us an opportunity. Lucky someone gave us some money when we needed it. Lucky to have what we have.

Survivor remorse at work

Have you’ve ever worked in a terribly oppressive place and seen good people mistreated by managers, supervisors, and HR at an organizational level? You probably quit and found a new job. Never-the-less, sometimes that company or some of those old co-workers creep into your mind. You think about them and wonder what and how they are doing? You hope they are doing well and have gotten out of there.

Domestic Violence Survivor

Unfortunately, there are too many women who were/are victims of domestic violence. The survivors sometimes feel bad for the abusers and so they don’t press charges. So many women are lucky to have escaped the dangers of life with an abusive spouse that once they are out of that situation they never look back. Other are still connected to their abuser through children or family. It’s natural to feel sorry for the abuser’s new partner because you know what they are in for – even if they publicly deny abuse – you know the truth. That’s survivor’s remorse.

Poverty Survivor

How about poverty? I mean really poor not some old, “I can’t have the new shoes or latest gadget.” type of poverty – I’m talking the “lights aren’t on and we aren’t sure when they are going to be back on” kind of poverty. Or the homeless kind of poverty. Or the “no food in the fridge” type of poverty. So many of us grew up in situations just like those and now when you see or hear about kids being hungry you are compelled to help.

Many successful entertainers have it. Think about Lebron James who recently opened a school in his hometown of Arkon, OH and whenever he is asked why he decided to open the I-Promise Academy the first thing he says is, “I used to walk those same streets and I know exactly what those kids are going through…” Survivors Remorse.  He sympathizes with those kids so he uses his platform to help them. Some NFL Players use their platform to show sympathy and compassion for the people who are less fortunate and are being killed and abused by the very profession that is supposed to serve and protect them… unfortunately the only actions that seems to get national media coverage is when players kneel to protest police brutality (not the military).

That’s right folks, when you see those athletes kneel, that’s a protest sparked by survivors remorse.

Greatness or Luck?

When I think of some of the jobs I had as a young adult and how I was just passing through while others were stuck – I am rich and lucky. When I think about the time, I was pulled over for a speeding ticket when I was 22 years old and I had a butterfly knife in my pocket. I was lucky that the officer didn’t frisk me for going 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. Just another reason why I have survivor’s remorse; seeing young black men killed by cops because I know, that could have been me… easily.

Just like in the book by Malcolm Gladwell, “Outliers” some of the most successful people are simply lucky to be born when they were born, to have lived in the places where they lived, and experienced the things they experienced. Suppose, a young Steve Jobs had been arrested and jailed for using the marijuana, like so many minorities are today?

I have survivor’s remorse on multiple levels; work, education, poverty, death, and jail… And that’s why I know, I am not great, I am lucky (and self-aware).