READY… “Life is not fair; get used to it.” ~ Bill Gates
AIM… I hear this complaint come up in conversation over and over again; “People in today’s society think they are entitled to _____________.” You may fill in the blank with whatever applies to your situation. Some folks think it’s a generational problem. Some people think it’s a parenting issue. I don’t know the answer or the solution to the problem, but perhaps we can shed some light on a few theories and help retrain those young, impressionable minds around us.
One theory I’ve heard about entitlement is that young adults think they should just get what they want because their parents GAVE them everything they wanted. It’s a parenting thing. Parents want their kids to have a better life than they had. This causes them to give their kids anything and everything they say they want. I think in another life that would be called “spoiling.” Needless to say, those kids are growing up not knowing how to work hard in order to receive their rewards. Sadly, they expect to make loads of money in order to support their outrageous lifestyle right out of school. Reality check: hard work + good attitude + responsible attendance = a pay check!
Another theory is that at some point, everyone felt badly for the child who lost the party game. Suddenly, we are ALL winners, right!? I think there is a place and time for this theory; however, it has created a bunch of sore losers who don’t know how to deal with rejection and encourage their peers. Again, because they were always dubbed a winner, when the reality sets in and they lose out on a job interview and get passed up for a better candidate, they don’t know how to cope or keep their eyes on the prize. Ultimately, this all falls back into the faces of the families and everyone else receives the backlash of the disappointed, entitled person….because we all know, “Life isn’t fair.”
I’m not really sure how to change an entire generation or population of entitled people. However, I do know that by taking a special interest, in one or two close people, perhaps you can be a good influence, demonstrate what a good work ethic looks like and teach how to deal with life’s disappointments. It’s tough, but hey, “Life isn’t fair.”
FIRE! Is there a younger person in your life who you can agree to be a good role model and mentor? Take the time to get to know him, develop a relationship and begin teaching and leading by your example of excellence. You will receive intangible rewards of satisfaction while watching this young person grow and blossom.