The novel Naveed by John Heffernan shows examples of how people can use certain situations to benefit themselves, while others choose not to become a victim and take up an altruistic lifestyle. “I am not what has happened to me. I am what choose to become. ” – Carl Jung. A victim is someone who has been caught in a horrible situation. Therefore a victim mentality is taking on the traits of victim even if you have had no negative cause on you. Characters like Naveed are incredibly selfless and altruistic rather characters like Akmed choose to choose to dwell in self pity.
Many of these characters are just like Naveed but many are like Akmed, this is where we see a stark contrast in this novel. Usually it is not a terrible situation that determines whether a person will suffer for the rest of their lives, but its the person themselves who decide. Jake, the Australian soldier, chose to provide optimistic opportunities to Naveed, “she might be able to save other lives as well”, his sister and even give hope to Afghanistan.
Even though there was a war all around him Jake does not let that defeat him but he see’s the bright side of all the circumstances thrown at him. Many people do not believe that Jake can help Naveed but he see’s a glimpse of potential and has faith, “knowing you’ll be making Afghanistan a safer country, is more than enough payment for me”. Jake is a bright contrast compared to many other characters that we see in this text. A contrast to Jake, Akmed is a complete opposite. He fall’s a victim to the bombing of his family and he is given help and upport from Naveed and his family to make it through. He is an example of choosing to be a victim as he, instead of rising and becoming a better person, chooses to dwell in self pity.
Akmed is not prepared to see the hope in his situation but decides that taking the route of revenge will solve everything, “to make the foreign devils pay”. People like this may have been a victim once but they have not been able to break out of that frame of mind, “you know the saddest thing about our country… here is nothing special about Akmed’s story. It is everywhere”. Naveed during his life has been thrown many difficult situations. After his father dies he has to take up the job of looking after his family, as a 14 year old boy. “He must work, He man of the house”. Naveed has the choice to hide from the situation but instead he chooses to be tough in a fragile time. Following his father’s word’s “In every darkness there is light. Always look for the light” Naveed keeps his thought’s and heart hopeful for a better outcome.
Even with the temptation of seeing a horrible side in the Americans, Naveed see’s the positive and decides to trust Jake. He could let the trials tear him down but he doesn’t let them defeat him. He doesn’t become someone who is only worried about themselves or let’s everything pass him by but he becomes a hero, for Afghanistan and the American soldiers. When faced with the impossible Anoosheh doesn’t let that get her spirits down. After getting her legs amputated when they are blown up by an IED, improvised explosive device.
Regardless of her environment she has joy and her attitude remains cheerful even when everyone else see’s her condition as a disadvantage. “I used to be sad about having no legs” “but now | realise it’s a blessing in disguise”. She broke out of the victim mentality and found a motivation to go on and inspire others, especially Naveed, “Nor has she ever shown any sign of self-pity. The opposite in fact”. While some would view themselves as victims, unlike Anoosheh, and believe that they can’t do anything to improve their situation, which will never get them to any place of satisfaction.
War torn countries are certainly not a place anyone chooses, therefore many people become victims to the situations around them. These circumstances however are no reason for someone can act selfish or even continue to be a victim. It’s the one’s who rise out of their circumstance and choose to make positive choices that truly shine. Naveed, Anoosheh and Jake all make decisions for the better, altruistic people always put others before their own needs in the text Naveed. “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise. ” – Kobe Bryant.