"Everything's my fault."
I still remember the look on my friend's face when I said it. She looked at me like she couldn't decide whether I was kidding or being condescending. There was no way I was serious.
When she realized I was dead serious, her face changed to one of pity. She told me, "Well, that's kind of depressing."
For me, it's not depressing at all. It's empowering. Looking at life as something that has endless leverage points is like opening up a whole world of opportunities. Being a victim isn't empowering. Being a victim is like saying that all sorts of bad things are going to happen to you, and you're powerless to fix it. Saying that everything that happens in your life is your fault is like saying there is always a way that you can impact it, and when things go badly, you learn from it. When things go well, you can celebrate being part of that.
When people cease to take responsibility for their actions and cease to own their choices, they cease to learn. They remove themselves from the situation and become victims of it. They're not working to change it, to leave this world (or even their own life) a little better than they found it. They're waiting for this world to bring everything to them. And I've found that the best way to basically give nay-sayers the finger is to learn and grow so that I can make better choices about where my life should be headed.
I'm pretty sure that my friend still disagrees with me, and that's totally OK with me.
In fact, it's my fault.