It’s high time we put the most enduring myths about human behavior to bed, and see the mind—and the world—as it is.
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The entitlement attitude is a cancer in American society that needs to be extracted before it consumes the entire social, political, and economic landscape of our country.
I have gained lots of first-hand perspective on various degrees of entitlement since my youth in a small town outside of Boston where the average income was 3x that of the surrounding blue-collar towns. Kids who wore $500 worth of clothing each day to school were commonplace in my town. High-powered attorneys, stockbrokers, well-known journalists, CIA officials, elite government functionaries all took walks on the town common with their families.
Aside from every material advantage in life, these wealthy parents handed their children a sense that they were deserving of all their parents had and more and the mentality that no one could ever say "no" to them. I remember many despicable characters from my high school class, many who were handed businesses, well-paying jobs, country club memberships, cars, and more. Their attitudes towards self and others was what you might expect: narcissistic, cruel, and overbearing.
After I graduate college, I became a teacher. I have taught in super well-off districts and I have taught in poor, rural and urban areas. The differences between the two zones are staggering - not just in material appearance but in attitude. My joke with my well-off students when they would disagree with something I said was "School isn't Burger King. You can't always have it your way." This garnered some chuckles, but it also earned me some enemies because my wealthy students really did believe that a lowly teacher shouldn't be saying "no" to them. After all, was I not just one more character in the menagerie of adults their parents paraded in front of them to service their every need: tutors, coaches, waiters, tailors, travel agents, maybe even priests. The list goes on and on.
Now, I manage a country club and as you can imagine, I can tell you story after story about entitlement - from the member who asks me to stay open for 30 minutes after close so he and his wife can swim under the stars (not happening - go home) to the little 10 year old kid who sends his sandwich back to the kitchen three times because he does not like the way the lettuce looks (true story). It's wild. It never ends. And I constantly think to myself as I observe this behavior - "What are these parents teaching their kids?"
I will tell you what: they are teaching them to be TAKERS not GIVERS. That is the main message. It's rather Biblical really... they are the chosen ones who will inherit the Earth and have dominion over all of it.
The entitled kids of this generation will grow up to be the corporate task masters who continue to rape the planet of its resources and perpetrate financial scams a la Bernie Madoff and Wolf of Wall Street.
Sometimes I wonder why regular people stand for it and don't rise up and squash these people like the rodents they are... but that's a question for another day.
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