Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Charity and I have a conversation almost daily in regards to people we come across that have the attitude of entitlement. I've tried to write my feelings on the subject, but thought Charity did a great job. So I'll share her writing instead....

I say these things as a work in project, myself. I don't claim to be free of having a sense of entitlement, though I do try to reflect daily on my actions and see if I, too have been guilty of them.

If we look at our grandparents, and how they interacted, lived, and taught, we're given a wonderful example on hard work. Earning what you have. Sharing what you don't, anyway. They worked hard for their dollar, extremely hard. For instance, both Derek's side of grandparents had simple jobs. One was a contractor, one was a highway patrolman. But, at the end of their lives, they retired comfortably. In fact, more than comfortably. I would say they have more than they could ever spend now. Why? Because they saved, worked, and were smart with their money. Society gave them nothing. They earned it, and now they're entitled, rightfully so, to the fruits of their labors.

Today, however, what is the world, or rather our nation, saying about owning a house? It's our "right" as a citizen. It is only their right to get a job, work hard, save, and pay for it honestly. No one is entitled to be a home owner. However, that's not what we've heard from so many, and thus our housing market is now suffering. Those that couldn't afford a home five years ago got one anyway. Why? Because they were entitled to it. Well, now we're all feeling the ill effects of their decisions.

I was reading an article the other day about a woman who said "society owed her" for having so many kids. Owed her what? Free food. Shelter. health care. Yes, now she thinks that I need to work for her because she has too many kids.

Teenagers are entitled to cell phones and ipods, because all of the kids have them. Their parents owe them that. So the parents put it all on credit, because they can't afford it in the first place. In fact, they put everything on credit, including the fancy new car they purchased, because their neighbor has it, and if their neighbor can "afford it" well then they're entitled to it, too. Which is funny because the neighbor probably charged it, too.

It's the leading cause (in my opinion) of the pride cycle. Like I said, our grandparents didn't deal with these issues. It is our society fallen victim to this vicious cycle. I'm guilty of it at times, too. The new jeans, the cute shoes, stylish dress. I want them, too. However, I'm gaining perspective, and trying to improve.

The man who cut me off yesterday driving down the road? He, in his mind, was obviously entitled to my place on the road. He was more important than I. The woman who cut in front of my sister at the post office a few weeks ago, after Chelsea waited in line for nearly 45 minutes? Yes, the woman obviously was entitled to that spot in line that Chelsea worked for.

The celebrity who doesn't have to do time because of how much money they have, or who they are? They're entitled not to go to jail, because of their social status.

I could go on.
Start noticing it. You'll be surprised. And probably annoyed :)

Derek read a book yesterday (in one sitting, it was so good) and he kept stopping to share thoughts with me from it. It was so good that I am reading it today, I'll go finish it in just a few minutes. It's called The Noticer, by Andy Andrews. It's a wonderful book on perspective, among other things. Perspective is another word I use almost daily, "it's all about perspective" I say, when I hear something and start to react poorly to someone else's actions - perhaps that man that cut me off in traffic was going home to his wife in labor, or the woman who cut in line at the post office had her elderly mother in the car - it's all about perspective. However, on that note, it's still all about kindness.


(And since I share our life mostly through pictures.. I had to add one with Charity in it..)


JustMe said...

And Charity doesn't blog why?

The girl can write.

Ashley W. said...

Well said!!!!

Also, that is one of my favorite pictures of you two :)

Sara said...

Haha! What a funny picture! I love it!

As for the post, I'd agree with most everything . . . Though, I think that since the beginning of time, people have harbored a sense of entitlement. Even the generations before -- yes, they worked hard for things, but I don't think they were without the feeling that they deserved more.

I think part of the natural man is to feel that way. I think every generation struggles with it in different forms.

At any rate, you are right. People -- myself included -- feel like they deserve everything rich and good and perfect in the world. I guess the only thing we really deserve is our agency, maybe? Just a thought . . .

JustMe said...

(My dad was standing in an express line at the grocery store. In front of him was a well-to-do-looking woman, who clearly had several more items than the limit.)

Dad: “You know, it’s amazing that someone who is apparently so successful can’t read.”

Woman: *in a huff* “That sign’s for regular people, not for me!”

(An old man behind my dad taps him on the shoulder.)

Old man: “Here, give her this.”

(My dad hands it to the woman.)

Woman: “What’s this?”

Old man: “Metamucil. It’ll make you regular.”
***********************************YEP - ENTITLEMENT

Anonymous said...

I'm a stalker...don't freak out. I'm not a creepy stalker. I just wanted to tell you that I completely agree. Andy Andrews writes some good books. I like the Traveler's Gift. It's an easy read. I am going to go and borrow The Noticer now. Good post. This was my first time visiting your blog. (I'm friends with Scot Clark.)

Tom and Vera said...

I love your family pictures. Everyone looks great. I also appreciated reading what you and Charity wrote. Very true...