Bear with me on this one. It is heavier than usual. Feel free to agree or disagree and feel free to post a comment at the bottom. This is my opinion and that’s all. This has nothing to do with politics or political leanings. I am a moderate independent and don’t lean one way or the other. If you see this as political , please stop reading ! This has NOTHING to do with the government. One thing after another has led me to empty my heart on a subject that has developed into a way of life, a culture, that is both unhealthy and dangerous. And that is the sense of entitlement that is seen on all levels and at every turn of the road. Did I say dangerous ? I meant it……….
ENTITLEMENT : that sense that rules and regulations don’t apply to me, just you.
I saw this over and over again when I was principal at Franklin County High School. Students who refused to accept responsibility for their actions, usually blaming someone or something else. Parents who came to the school to “explain ” why their child did what he/she did and to make it clear that no discipline was needed. Special interest groups that “knew ” more than the school system and should be in charge. General public that felt entitled to make demands that had little or no bearing on education——–and on and on. This sense of ” I and my situation are different from everybody else ” prevailed in the public school system to the detriment of fairness, equality, and justice. The natural order of ” greatest good for greatest number ” faltered while the idea of ” special treatment for me and mine ” prevailed. A culture of entitlement indeed……………..
But I must give a tip o’ the hat to those others who understood the big picture, who understood the importance of standards and lines and unity. A particular anecdote comes to mind. One of our teachers followed a student and his brother, speeding on the high school road. She contacted the parents who promptly took the car away and put the two high schoolers on a bus for a full month. No questions asked, no visiting the principal to criticize the teacher, no sense that their boys could drive as they pleased, no nonsense, no entitlement. Situation taken care of at the lowest level.
ENTITLEMENT : that rationale that MY needs come first.
This leads me to our culture of entitlement in today’s world with all the crises that we are facing. Of all the times in my long history, we need unity and understanding more than ever, and we have less than I have ever seen. Our mantra is entitlement : I want what I want. No matter about you………………..
The pandemic has created a chasm that seems almost impossible to cross. And it is another sad, but true, example of entitlement. Each side of the vaccination issue assumes some entitlement, stating sources, rationale, and feelings . Nothing wrong with that until————–the anger and hostility start. An example of being entitled to our feelings, with disregard for others.
This then carries over to nastiness : demanding better service at businesses even when the business is short-staffed; publicly refusing to follow social distancing with no regard for the people close by ; entering a privately-owned business which is asking for masks with no mask on; making unkind remarks on social media. Entitlement defined. Vaccinate or don’t vaccinate; your decision. But you are NOT entitled to being mean and vicious when someone disagrees. Give it a break !
And then there’s angry and hostile partisan politics. I can remember the day when we were Republican or Democrat ( not too many independents in my memory bank ) but we were not rigid nor nastily condescending. We never felt entitled in the sense that one party was right and the other was wrong. We did not feel the need to berate nor belittle another’s opinion. We agreed to disagree in a climate of politeness and common sense.
But that has changed, and as much as I love and appreciate the wide, wide world that technology has opened up, the downside is the misuse of it for our own agendas, hence entitlement. The greater good, which should be our very foundation, has floundered with this sense of ” what I think, what I believe, what I value ” is all that matters. And have you noticed that a compliment is rarely paid on the internet without also throwing somebody under the bus ? Entitlement : my way or the highway !
Our communities are made up of diverse opinions, diverse religions, diverse educational levels, diverse economic situations, and diverse values, as it should be. And we are not entitled to ” diss ” any of these. Our nation was built on self-sacrifice and the common good. Entitlement will kill both.
Enough preaching. You get my point. I have watched this selfish, self-consuming, and prevailing culture develop to the breaking point. It is truly dangerous, truly dangerous.
And one more time, if you read this as a political commentary , you are wa-a-a-y off-track. Simply one person’s view of society.