The decision to give the person of the year award to those who reported workplace abuse is a step in the right direction. More needs to be done.

The abusers throughout history have gotten away with their behavior, in large part, because of a lie that the abused readily believed. That lie is that you can’t be happy because you don’t have the right things, look the right way, live in the right place or have the right abilities; basically, you can’t be happy because you aren’t me. That lie is particularly heinous because it creates a class of people that “can’t possibly be happy” because they will never have what is deemed necessary.

To those who have been told they don’t have what it takes to be happy, look at the rest of creation. If the lie is to be believed, all of creation, outside of the snobs of humanity, is depressed. It isn’t. The animals and plants don’t kill us so they can feel empowered. God and Christ don’t spend all their time trying to outdo each other and bragging about how they have succeeded. Only unhappy individuals spend time trying to outdo or diminish others. If they were happy what would be the point of such actions? When the word “success” means being the most honorable person you can be we will stop giving our respect, time and resources to those who haven’t earned them.

When those who are truly happy refuse to believe the lie something will happen. Those who said they were special will have no pedestal to stand on and the world will know who truly is unhappy.

To the abused, the crime is not yours, do not internalize it. To the abusers, if you were truly successful you wouldn’t have needed to abuse anyone.

Eric Thompson, Bismarck

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