Entitlement

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“I want my money…and I want it now!”  How many times have you heard that shouted on TV commercials?

I got to thinking about entitlement last weekend and how many times it shows up in our everyday lives as we make our way through the commercialism and hype.

We have to shout louder or push harder to feel heard or get noticed over the rest.

It’s like a feeding frenzy of newborn puppies or a caller on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange shouting the latest trade.  The one who pushes the hardest or loudest gets what they want.

When did it get to where more is expected and less offered?  And have we been driven so much as overachievers in a competitive, instant gratifying world that we no longer notice how the attitude of entitlement shows up in our personal lives.

Today, we have so much commercialism thrown at us it’s no wonder we feel as if we should get what we want especially with the ease of purchase and credit.  The system is set up so we can buy just about anything with entitlement as the driver byproduct of that commercialism and materialism as I see it.

But where is the value?  I think we put too much value on material things instead of values earned like a job well done, difficult problem resolved or respect gained from co-workers.

Like many, I get irritated if something doesn’t respond immediately or I can’t find what I want with all the choices I have.  I too make demands here and there.  It’s no wonder I see a reflection of that entitlement in myself, those around me and our children.

We’re doing what we need to do to function in this world and how it operates.  It’s been set up for that. Praise and prestigious promotions are expected for every little effort and our children get ‘participation’ ribbons in field-day events instead of 1st, 2nd or 3rd – robbed of the opportunity to see how they measure up and how they can improve.

Being with our grandsons last weekend I noticed the contrast between myself when I was the grandchild and today the adult. It seems harder to be a kid today – (heck) it’s hard to be an adult.

“Was it better then or now?”  In either case, the world was different and the culture that goes with it.  We, as adults, and our children have to learn how to function in the world as it is.  That’s a fact.

But when I look at our children and their expectations, demands – entitlement – I wonder if we’re expecting too much of the wrong things from our new generation given the culture and how it functions?  What are we doing to them and ourselves?

I find it hard to believe that kids would get bored more often today than they used to with all the technology, toys, video games and media available these days.  But they do.  I heard it several times last weekend, “Grandma, I’m bored!”

As usual when I reflect on a different time passed it is so different when compared to now.  When I was a little girl, I adored my grandmother and to this day I still miss her.  I remember I couldn’t stand to have her mad or disappointed in me and she didn’t treat me any more special than the others.  I could be just as big a brat as anyone else and really good at pouring on the “poor me” act.

I know and still feel that love from her and my grandfather and wonder what it takes to love like that – what is required?  They certainly didn’t give me a lot of toys or games.  They didn’t have very much money and it wasn’t the places they took me.

My sister, cousins and I were just happy to be with them – the whole summer.  That’s unheard of today – seven grandkids (7) staying with grandparents from the day school let out in June to Labor Day in September with no toys or video games.

What’s wonderful not only about children but regular adults as well is the magic and power of imagination and pretending not another big screen TV or video game.  It’s like when you made mud pies in the backyard instead of making them in a fully equipped mini-kitchen with pretend microwaves.

That was the magic with my grandmother.  She got down on the floor with us and played.  She redirected our boredom with fun and imagination and gave us a part of herself.  My grandfather likewise would hook a fish head on our line and sinker and take us crabbing in his skiff.

As an adult, I see the results of entitlement everywhere including the spiritual circles with the “law of attraction”.  Entitlement is not a bad thing – it’s just taken out of context and given more value than it’s worth along with the hype of commercialism and materialism.

We just have to see it for what it is and redirect it with the magic of imagination and creativity – then do something, have fun and go play instead of asking for another car.

Pat – from the ol’ kitchen table ~~ Put a smile on my face and leave a comment or question!

4 thoughts on “Entitlement

    • Thanks Bob for your feedback. Took a little time to get all my thoughts in there and it still could have used a little more polishing. I’m happy you enjoyed it and the reflection.

  1. Hi Pat! I really enjoyed this story and agree with you. I remember when I would show horses I had to “earn” the 1st place trophy, or 2nd or3rd place ribbon. This would be in a competition with typically 7-10 riders. If I didn’t do well, I didn’t place and get a “participation” ribbon. It taught me that yes, sometimes I would be disappointed, but that only caused me to work harder next time. When I was a “kid” we didn’t get participation ribbons in our school field days or events; we competed for the sheer fun of it and enjoyed the competition! Thanks for your thoughts and I look forward to hearing more from you soon! Hugs, Teri

    • We can remember those stories well Teri when the trophies and ribbons had to be earned not just given for participating. Things have really changed since then and in some way I don’t think it’s benefiting the younger generation. Wow – it will sure be a shock when they hit the real world and it’s back to earning again.

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