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