01 April 2009

You deserve it? I don't think so....

I feel I have had instilled in me a strong belief that you are not entitled to things, but that you earn them. In today's world, I look around and see so many people with a sense of entitlement and see that this completely limits their ability to improve, grow or develop. In addition, this hurts those around them.

Let me try to explain what I mean by sense of entitlement, why it is wrong and damaging and what can be done to change it.

A sense of entitlement means that you should get or receive something just because you exist. So in essence, you should not have to work for it. Now you may argue, you're entitled to things like air, well yes, but isn't it also true that it is being polluted, so you need to fight to keep it clean so it's breathable. I digress, let's stay on track here.

Now that you understand what I mean by sense of entitlement, let me explain why I believe it is bad. First, your belief that you are entitled to something means that someone else must provide it for you. This automatically puts the other person or people in a lesser or servant role to you. You are entitled to a good job, means that someone must give it to you. Does this make sense? No. You should earn the job because you have developed the skills or show a great aptitude to succeed at the job. Second, if you feel entitled to something, you will always end up disappointed. Other people will not live up to your standards for them. Sorry, this is just an idiotic idea. You should set the standards for yourself and strive to achieve those. Third, people will do things either for pleasure or pain (see prior post). They will do something for you if it makes them happy or they do it to avoid some pain. Having somebody do something for you because you feel you are entitled to it most likely means the person is doing it to avoid pain. How long will someone do that?

Here's how to change it. It quite simple really. You are in charge of yourself. You set goals for yourself. You achieve things for yourself. In the end, you will a much happier, independent and confident person. Please comment, I want to know what you think. Thanks for listening.


The Queen said...

I think a sense of entitlement came with my generation. A lot of us didn't have to work through high school or even through college and many had things handed to them with a silver spoon. Obviously, most think that every thing should be handed to them. You are right. "You" are in charge of yourself and goals need to be set!

Juanita said...

You are so observant. I agree. I have worked with so many people who were written off by previous bosses, when I was in charge I would listen and try and give chances. I was never more successful then when I took a chance and let someone prove that they had value beyond the guy/gal with the expensive degree. A piece of paper means that you finished school it doesn't mean that you ever got anything done besides your homework and you shouldn't feel entitled to being assigned or promoted to doing tasks over someone who perhaps for one reason or another did not get that piece of paper.

Eric Vonk said...

Thank you Queen and Juanita for the great comments. I love reading other people's thoughts and feelings. Juanita, I agree with your statements regarding the 'piece of paper'. My father does not have an engineering degree, but can do more and do it better than most who have it. I do look at the degree, not as an entitlement that I should get a good job because I have it, but that it is allows me better access to those who help me get that job. I must still earn it, earn the degree, earn the respect of those who can help and earn the job.