Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Entitlement vs. Gratitude; How it Affects our Youth

Have you ever come across someone who you called "High Maintenance," "Spoiled," "Entitled," or sometimes just plain old "Rude"?

Sounds like the person that you were talking or relating with, has a visible or non-visible entitlement issue. You know the kind I'm talking about? These people just expect it to be about them, nothing is ever good enough, they always expect more, and when there is no "more" to give, they complain about it, or are never satisfied with it. Either way, it's exhausting to be that way, and it's especially exhausting to be around anyone that way.

And yet, I feel that society seems to breed these people. It seems to me that we are living in the most entitled age because everything seems to come so easy. There is high speed Internet, smart phones, GPS, drugs, and information to just about anything is literally at your fingertips and you don't have to wait very long to get what you are searching for. It's not like you have to walk into a library anymore on the hours that it's open, go to the card catalogue, find the section of what book you are looking for and then read them. Yet, if you were born before 1980, that's probably how you grew up.

That's just so outdated now that most people today wouldn't know what a "card catalogue" is, or what the Dewey Decimal system was.

So to me it seems that with all the modern technology, we, our society, and certainly our youth have become entitled.

Let me tell you why I think that entitlement is cancerous. Entitlement actually tears away from being thankful or having gratitude. In fact, I would almost call them opposites. When you are feeling entitled, you expect certain things, and when you don't get what it is that you want, you feel that you are being denied the basics of what your belief system tells you.

On the other hand when you have gratitude, you actually are more present in the moment about how appreciative you are for the things you DO have. This takes you away the loss, resentment, or frustration from the feeling that you are being denied of what you think you are entitled to. You are instead left with a feeling of gratitude for whatever it is you chose to be grateful for.

These two different views are so different that it seems that we live in different worlds. The world of entitlement means that you are always let down, exhausted, frustrated, pouty, resentful, angry or upset.

Conversely, the world of gratitude is one of inner peace, of being present to the good things in life, happiness and abundance and most of all, peace of mind.

Yet when I fly on an airplane, or sit in a line at a bank, or watch a movie in a movie theatre with disruptive people, I see the entitlement all around me. Hell, I see it in myself most of all! I have to catch myself all the time to remind myself of why I am feeling entitled and notice that it comes from me, and not my environment. Catching this insight has given me a new outlook and a much more manageable view because I have enrolled myself in peace of mind instead of pissing into the wind and then wondering why I always get pissed on.

When I see our youth not able to see and appreciate the convenience that we have these days because they have known nothing different, I am reminded when my parents or grandparents used to tell me of slide rules, before the calculator, and how easy I have it now compared to when they grew up. No doubt they looked at me and thought I was spoiled because they had it much harder than I did growing up. I guess that it a fair view, and I see every generation growing and advancing that way.

But for once, it would be nice to see our youth grow up being present to what great things the world has offered them, and how appreciative they should be because of it.

Adding gratitude to your life will make it more manageable and you will have more peace of mind in any situation if you chose to.

Otherwise, you are welcome to remain in the world of entitlement with all the needy, high maintenance, whiny, self-absorbed people.

It's always your choice...

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