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"Entitlement is getting to be the Norm today" by Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on August 19, 2012
© Quill Collection
© Quill Collection


In a conversation last night with friends we discussed a subject that is somewhat of a touchy subject in today's times and yet something we have come to be a witness to on an everyday basis.

It is something that far to often has gotten out of hand and I do believe it has been created by our generation and I speak for the age group like myself who are at in the fall years of life.

Gather around and lets sit awhile and take a look at this subject of entitlement. It comes in many forms but more and more we are seeing it as a divine right to be catered too rather than have to work for what you have or you may want.

Before I get started I would like to clearly state that it is not my intention to pick on the younger generation or us. These are just my observations and I will stand to be corrected as each of us have a voice. Again I do not want to sound judgemental but it is something we need to become more aware of. So please gather around and make yourself comfortable... know that you are loved.



My Generation

I was raised in a generation where I was taught if you wanted something bad enough you worked and saved for it. The main reason is because my parents could not provide it. All the family earnings went to simply surviving and meeting the basic needs. It did not take long to learn that you could something out of nothing and create games with what ever was at hand.

It was simple, I was raised knowing not to beg or ask because it would just never be. Christmas was the exception because Mom and Dad would save all year. The gift they bought each of us children (4) two boys and two girls were gifts with meaning and gifts that would teach and shape each respectively. For me it was Meccano sets to start. I would build and build and for a few years the set would be added too each year. Then one year came the ultimate gift. It was a clear plastic engine I needed to assemble with every moving part of an engine. It came complete with a small starter box and spark plugs that lite up. Then came the Crystal Radio I could listen to by the hour to stations all over the world.

Silly as it may seem these were gifts that moulded me later in years. I became a builder of hot rods, structures and yes even gained a deep interest in Ham Radio and communications.

Was I entitled, no. Did I demand no. Did I simply hold out my hand and expect... certainly not. I was taught if you want something bad enough you work for it. There were chores that I was assigned on a daily bases, hauling coal for the large Barbershop and Pool Hall dad had, hauling water for the house and helping my Dad in the pool hall after my homework was completed. As payment or what was called an allowance I had the choice of a bottle of pop or a bag of chips Dad sold as part of the business. Either was worth a nickel at the time, there so now you know how old I really am. I also did chores for other people and often gave the money I made to help Mom and Dad.

When do we say no



For us who were raised with little or nothing the one thing that we came out of it with is the statement "Well my children with never go without" as often as not. We were going to be so much different and give our children all the things they wanted. It is great to see children today that have superb education, that perfect smile and all the latest trends, fashions and techie toys. We raised them taking all the right things such as ballet, music, soccer, hockey football. After all we wanted them to experience all we maybe missed out on.

We became the chauffeurs shuffling schedules to accommodate all the functions they were enrolled in. Before long we had to have a second income and or a larger home or another vehicle. Both parents needed to work. We stuffed the little ones into day care under the tutelage of some unknown people and had to pay a dear price to be able to work.

In the mean while family dinners started to be missed together. A recent statistic is mind boggling I just read the other day. Three meals per week is the average. The rest are commercially prepared and eaten on the run. Family meal time for most of us is a time of coming together and sharing where we are in studies, goals and ambitions. A time for parents to guide and direct . Our children slowly learned all they had to do is want and they would get.

Tempers Displayed


The public Scene

Have you ever gone out for what you expected to be a peaceful meal in a restaurant and been a witness to something like this. Children completely out of control until what they want is finally placed in front of them and it stops immediately.

Several years ago I was standing in line at a store to pay for some items and I watched a mother trying to say no to her son wanting a chocolate bar which was conveniently place at child's eye level at the checkout. She quietly said "I have no money son. I will give you a treat when we get home."The temper tantrum that ensued Was close to glass breaking shrieking and convulsing on the floor by the child. I recall the day as being very hot and all I wanted to do was drive home for some peace and quiet and yet I needed the supplies I had shopped for. It carried on for several minutes, people were getting agitated and I was actually tempted to buy the chocolate bar for him myself.

Against my better judgement I leaned over this screening child looked at him until I got his attention and called out rather loudly in a stern voice. "Shut up and listen to your Mom." Was I wrong, I suppose yes but the tantrum ended as fast as it started and all I could hear from all around me was thank you. Even the mother whispered a thank you too me.

Now I am no advocate of spanking a child and yet there are times as a parent when I do think it is necessary. I know I got my share and when I think back they were well deserved and had I pulled off a scene like that I would have been promptly tanned on the backside. You might say I had the greatest respect for my parents. Please do not get me wrong I was far from being abused but I knew the authority they had over me and rarely tested it.


Getting Out Of The Rut

How often do we see adults going back home today. Yes there are those cases when a hand up is a good thing. The problem is, it is far to common place. I have a neighbour who has a adult child he employed in his business for the past few years and because of a conflict his father terminated him to make a point as he was being abusive towards the other staff. The young man is pushing thirty and still living at home and unemployed. The dad is saying enough and the mom is saying give him a chance. That was 8 months ago. The son still sleeps all day and parties all night.

Some of the blame needs to be pointed at the parents in cases such as this. I mean get real, pack his bag and have the locks changed. Both the parents work hard and yet they allow this to carry on. It is not like there is not work, every week even in this small town there are several jobs in the paper he could do.

This comes to the point of entitlement. Just how much are we entitled to today before we are held accountable. How many times do we need to follow people around and shut off the lights that are left on in their wake as they travel from room to room. What would happen if they were passed an electrical bill and asked to cover the cost.

Years ago I watched a young farm boy who had just graduated and be given a 60 thousand dollar pickup truck as a reward for his efforts. Only the best of the best. Three months later I stood at his graveside attempting to console his grieving parents. I never made it to the other three funerals of the people he killed because of his stupidity in driving on the roads at breakneck speeds. I recall the day he pulled into the yard with the new truck and the father saying "No child of mine will suffer the way I did."

When is it we say, like my parents said "Son if you want it bad enough you will work hard for it we just can not buy that for you." If we continue to just give then what is it we are teaching. I would like to close this with some words of wisdom from my parents that was given to me when I left home at a young age. "Son remember the bed you make is the one you need to sleep in." Trust me I have had some messy beds over the years but never once went home expecting a free handout.

Just how much are we enabling those in our lives if we keep giving without and accountability. Maybe it is time to look back at the morals and values we were raised in and say enough is enough. I see many of the youth today working two and three part time jobs to help pay for their educations or maybe things they want and my hat is off to them with nothing but encouragement. On the other hand I see others who are simply given it because it is what they have come to expect and or maybe demand.

Again I mean not to pick on anyone sector of society but I do think we need to look seriously at the world around us. We need to attempt to understand nothing in life comes for free. A good rule of thumb I have lived by for years "If I do not have the money to pay for it now then it can wait and only after I have drawn clearly the difference between a want or a need."

Please know that you are loved and appreciated....

© Rolly A. Chabot


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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Jackie... thanks for the comment and good on you for working and being a second mom to your siblings. That could not have been easy. I think as a general rule and looking back over the comments here there are several parents who stand firm on teaching morals and values.

      Again I look back at my childhood and am thankful my folks made me to be independent so young. I left home just after I turned fourteen and was ready to take on the world only to learn quickly the importance of an education and completed mine via correspondance while I worked and paid my own way. Those were soe lean and hard years but I did have a goal.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      With four younger brothers I was a second mother for them and although I did odd jobs starting at around 10 for neighbors I got to use the money how I wanted which was for Christmas presents usually, spent on my mom mostly or a snack while I was out that I always felt guilty over, lol. Kids today are a nightmare. Not all but most. Parents will pay the price and ruin their kids that let them lay around and expect nothing of them. I don't see how that can be called love. It seems to me they are too lazy to make an effort to raise them right. If they want to call the law then let the law have them, that should bring them round real quick! lol

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Carter06... great points and maybe we as society need to be bold enough to speak out when we see the entitlement issues taking place. It is alive and well in the governments, school system and sports industry. Advertising has even taken up the cause and hammers it into peope minds that we simple need this and that. It is a good thing to reward children and yes even people in our lives with gifts and acknowledgement for what they have done.

      Hugs from Canada

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Some good stuff here Rolly and I guess the truth is that our kids turn out partly from nature and partly from nuture so we have to want whats best for them, not whats easiest & teach them for sure that they & most of everybody else has to work for what they get in life!...cheers

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Pam... thank you for sharing and I agree we are seeing more and more who are out of work and there is little work available. It is sad to think at one time families were fed from a garden tended to by every member. Men would go out and fish and hunt for the winter meat.It was lie a right of passage in my case. I was taught to field dress a moose and deer early in life and spend time learning to love off the land. People today have lost the sense or maybe it has a great deal to do with hope.

      We are the same in Canada with much of our tax dollar going into programs to help. I has created this false sense of security or maybe eventak it that one step further and call it entitlement...

      Hugs and Blessings from Canada

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      Rolly, I grew up much like you. My mother taught me to sew because we could afford fabric more easily than clothes, so I made many of my own clothes and became a good seamstress. We worked for what we got and I have been through some very lean times but I never expected the government to bail me out. It now seems a handout is so much easier than finding a job for so many, although I know jobs are scarce. I see young men her in FL standing all day on the sidewalk in front of a business waving a sign back and forth. It is in the 90's here. I feel sorry for those guys, and yet they know they are not going to go hungry. Some are willing to do whatever it takes and some just were not taught. This is an excellent hub about a very serious trend in the US and maybe around the world. Hugs from sunny Florida.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good thought and thanks for the challenge!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi lifegate... just something that has been on my mind awhile. Sometimes I think it a good thing to sit back and look closer at what is happening even in our own lives. Could we better use the resources we have been given and use it as a teaching tool.

      Hugs from Canada

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You hit the nail on the head - unfortunately

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Tamarajo... very good to see you again and you are so right. Tere are many wonderful families out there and I do see them but so often when we hear of mass killings etc and after studies have been done as to the unexplained whys far to often it is because of broken homes and so little love and discipline.

      Thanks for your comment...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Lynda... good for you and a high five coming at you. You did very well and you can sit back and watch the fallout of the grandchildren. You have done all you could. Hats off to you.

      I never had children even though I was married young but over te years I have watched the demise. A little hard work for what you get is the reward of knowing you earned it.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 5 years ago

      It is so true that in our society child rearing many times comes from a place of self-pity sadly not recognizing the incredible lessons and life skills learned from suffering and not always getting what we want.

      Entitlement is a great way to describe the attitudes born from this because we really do see it all around us.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I got my first part-time job at 14, working in a greasy spoon cafe. Prior to that I babysat. Not that my parents were poor, they were not, but they didn't believe in "spoiling the children." I never went without, but certainly did not have every whim gratified. When my daughters were teenagers, they received the basics of life through my work (I was a single mother,) but if they wanted more, they had to work themselves. And they did! Both girls had part-time jobs from the age of 15, plus they were expected to help out at home. Did it hurt them? Not one bit. Have they passed this on to their own children? Not really. It will be interesting to watch the results.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Sallie... what a wonderful testimony of what you have done with your family. Tears came to my eyes in reading your words. Thank you for doing so. You and your family are some wonderful role models and I congratulate you for the chices you have made and now the fruit is being seen by many.

      Thank you so much for sharing this with us here at the Fireside, welcome.

      Hugs from Canada

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 5 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Hi Rolly....I agree with you...I have been a stay at home Mom for 15 years bcuz my husband and I wanted our children raised by us, taught our values, and secure in their home and selves. We took, and still do take, a lot of heat from friends and family for our choices...not keeping up with societal norms, etc., sacrificing a lot so our children could be in a 2 parent family with 1 parent always available. Our children went without ALL the new fad toys, but they did have legos and our backyard and played together for hours, using imagination and adventure. When our oldest son became a teenager, he worked a job to get additional things he wanted and now he is a junior in a private college, working 2 jobs to pay his bills, making his own meals, vp of his fraternity and making the Dean's List each semester. Our youngest son is 15 and has a job to make some extra money to pay for things he wants in addition to what we give him. Over the years, our children have learned the value of us growing their own food, making our own breads and meals and how much better things are if you learn and do them yourself. If only people would realize they need to teach their children well - values, morals, has an affect on us all.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Nell... over the years there have been some horrendous crimes agains children in the claim of discipline and that is wrong. But take it out of the homes and into the school system and I was very familiar with the strap in school. Did it hurt, a little but what was hurt more was the humiliation. Thinking back I deserved what I got...

      I think it time for us all to sit back and look at what is happening after all the youth of today will become the leaders of tomorrow...

      Hugs from across the big pond

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi Rolly, I totally agreed with everything you said, and I always say that ever since corporal punishment, or smacking has been outlawed, children have become completely out of control. it never hurt us, so why should we have to stop now? I could see it happening over the years, and someone should do something about it. it seems to me that adult teens still act like three year old kids throwing tantrums, make it as hard for them as it was for us, and don't let the government make excuses, great points Rolly, nell


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