Hailey Rants About Entitlement (or, Get Over It)

I have a soapbox I’ve been needing to get on for a long time, so just bear with me for a few minutes.

Entitlement: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

I know someone around my age who expects their parents to buy him/her a car. But not just any car will do–this kid expects a specific make, a specific model, and a specific color of car. They have made it very clear that if they don’t get this exact kind of car very soon, they will not be happy.

Recently I sat down to watch my favorite YouTuber’s spring try-on haul. The first item of clothing (a T-shirt) that she’d bought was $99, and my jaw just dropped. When the video was finished, this girl had spent over $400 on half a dozen shirts that she planned to only wear in spring 2017. This YouTuber had also just spent a lot of money to have her bedroom (which looked perfectly fine to me) redone, and then she spent an entire video complaining that her interior designer got her a new desk from Ikea instead of one from a higher-quality store. Along the same lines, a couple of years ago I stopped watching House Hunters with my parents because it drove me so crazy that a couple with a budget of $1.2 million would be annoyed when their prospective house didn’t have granite countertops.

I remember being really upset last fall when almost everyone I knew was complaining about going back to school. Do people even realize how lucky they are to live in a country where, although the education system could certainly be much better, they can at least go to school at all and learn something? In some countries, parents are too poor to send their children to school. Some kids have to work, or they’re sold into human trafficking, and in some countries girls aren’t allowed to attend school. This doesn’t just happen in foreign countries, either–I was talking to a foster mom in my neighborhood last August who said that the birth mother of one of her foster kids didn’t let the teen go to school, although the girl really wanted to.

American teenagers (and, honestly, Americans in general) embody the sentiment of entitlement that I’ve just illustrated so perfectly, and it makes me sick. Why are we so self-absorbed? So the Wi-Fi went out. Get over it. Read a book. GOSH. We’re so spoiled, and we’re so extravagant. Americans are a selfish and narcissistic culture. (And believe me–I’m preaching to the choir here. Don’t be offended, because I act selfish and narcissistic and complain about the slow Wi-Fi every day.) If you’re a teenager and you expect your parents to buy you a car and do your laundry and get you up for school in the mornings while you complain that you have to leave the house, I’m sorry, but it’s time to get over it. No, I take that back. I’m not sorry, but it is time to get over it.

Let’s delve a little deeper into this issue of school. Many of my friends who complained about school last fall (and, actually, all throughout the year) were Christians. Honestly, they could not have a better mission field–maybe teachers can’t talk about Jesus, but kids can! I know an eight-year-old who takes her Bible to school and reads it on the playground to the other girls, and I also know eighteen-year-olds who groan and gripe about getting up in the morning to go to school. Something is wrong with that picture.

The two major complaints I seemed to hear were complaints about friend drama, and complaints about homework (God forbid someone tell me that I have to do work *shudder*). I realize that I might not always know the situation, and sadly, many people are being seriously bullied. But in most cases, my friends were sharing the whooole situation on social media, and they were making a huge deal of out petty things. Correct me if I’m just an introverted homeschooler, but although the social aspect of school is great and probably beneficial in many ways, the point of school is to learn and get an education to prepare you for the real world–where, I hate to break it to you, you’ll have to work. Like, work a lot. And again, I’m preaching to the choir here. Even though I love learning and I enjoyed most of my classes, I certainly have complained about homework volume before–probably even on this very blog. My bottom line here is that even if you don’t love learning or you have some friend troubles, you have to go to school anyway, so get over it and recognize it for the privilege that it is.

So, what do we do about it? How do we combat this sense of entitlement that seems to have permeated our culture to the point where it’s completely normal and accepted and even smiled upon? First of all, we need to stop basing our worth in our material things. Then we need to differentiate–really differentiate–between needs and wants. If you can, I’d highly encourage you to go on an overseas mission trip to help you understand this difference. If you can’t, well, we can all start to cultivate a spirit of gratefulness for our many blessings. We can pray for those who don’t have as much as us. We can actively try to get rid of the mindset I deserve a nice car and my parents should buy it for me. Look, you are rich. Considering the demographic that typically reads my blog, I think that this is a statement I can make with a great degree of assurance: YOU are RICH. And I do mean rich in the financial sense. Go here and enter your family’s yearly income. Do it. Then come back here and complain about all your riches.

I realize this post is different than my usual posts. I realize it’s kind of passive-aggressive. I realize that, well, I sound angry in this post. But it’s because I am angry. I’m angry about the girls in India who aren’t allowed to attend school and I’m angry about the people dying of preventable diseases in Africa and I’m angry about the children in my own county who don’t get enough to eat. I’m angry that a large part of the world and the church, including myself, just sit back in our air-conditioned houses and do nothing. We are entitled, and it’s driving me crazy. What am I going to do about it? I’m not sure yet. But this post is a start.

This post has been in the works for many months and I want to hear your thoughts. Do you notice this sense of entitlement in yourself and other people you know, especially teenagers? Were you shocked at how your family stacks up on the Global Rich List? (I was!)  How do you propose to combat entitlement and the I-deserve-it mindset?

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Advertisements

16 thoughts on “Hailey Rants About Entitlement (or, Get Over It)

  1. Pingback: June: Month in Review – Now All I Know is Grace

  2. papertigertale

    I agree Hailey! It drives me wild, although reckon kids (and adults) from middle class families across the world are like this unfortunately. I went to a high achieving fee-paying school, and it blew my mind how many of my friends took our education for granted. It was like they hadn’t realized they were in the top 5% of girls in the UK in terms of educational opportunity, let alone compared to many girls in other nations. And don’t even get me started on those kids who will bluster and claim their families aren’t “rich” when they have big houses and go on expensive summer holidays overseas. The purposeful ignorance makes me so furious because all it does is brush inequality under the carpet, and socio-economic inequality in the UK is appalling. I strongly agree that you shouldn’t have to go overseas to realise that; every country has its own problems and often making a difference in your own back yard is more sustainable and beneficial to others in the long run than “voluntourism”.

    Like

  3. papertigertale

    I agree! It drives me wild, although reckon kids (and adults) from middle class (and upwards) families across the world are like this unfortunately. I went to a high achieving fee-paying school, and it blew my mind how some of my friends took our education for granted. It was like they hadn’t realized they were in the top 5% of girls in the UK in terms of educational opportunity, let alone compared to many girls in other nations. And don’t even get me started on those kids who will bluster and claim their families aren’t “rich” when they have big houses and go on expensive summer holidays overseas. The purposeful ignorance makes me so furious because all it does is brush inequality under the carpet, and socio-economic inequality in the UK is appalling. I strongly agree that you shouldn’t have to go overseas to realise that, and often making a difference in your own back yard is more sustainable and beneficial to others in the long run than “voluntourism”!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hailey, I agree with you completely. It is so refreshing to see someone your age that does not
    want everything.

    For those who can afford anything they want, that does not mean it is wise to buy it. However, there are some things that we might want and it is okay to treat yourself. This entitlement thinking irritates me too. IF one really wants something, they can work for it. Instant gratification of needs does not help one learn to be patient. I think it is neat to want something and save for it. After saving the money, sometimes the item does not seem worth spending hard earned money for it. It is so easy for younger folks to want their parents to buy stuff for them and not realize that their parents worked hard for the money.

    In previous comments, people have mentioned those who cannot afford what we consider the basics. We do not have to go far to find these people. Serving these people in some capacity is a way to become more appreciative of what we do have.

    I am inspired and have hope for the next generation when I see someone your age with such wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are 100% right, Hailey! I live in Australia and the situation is so similar. Most white kids in Australia go to school and cannot do anything but complain about it, and yet only one in five Aboriginal kids can read. it makes me so angry, but i don’t know what to do about it. Our world is so greedy and narcissistic. That’s what happens, I guess, when we take our eyes off Jesus. Good post anyway, 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OH MY WORD. YES I HEAR YOU. Of course, the YouTubers that spend insanely left and right drive me nuts, because that lifestyle is SO unrelatable! These people also get lauded because they donated $500 to charity…when they easily spent MULTIPLES of $500 on THEIR OWN CLOTHING. (Which is partially why I like Monica Church: she doesn’t spend as much as most of the others)

    YouTubers aside, people are FREAKING entitled. Honestly, just look through #FirstWorldProblems on Twitter or IG, and you’ll see it. Spending $5 per coffee just for the aesthetic? Getting mad because the barrista spelled your name wrong? Your laptop ran out of charge? Your AC can’t go below 65 degrees? Your plane got delayed 20 minutes? MY HEAVENS THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WOULD *LOVE* TO HAVE THE MONEY THAT YOU JUST SPENT ON YOUR COFFEE!!

    Great post, Hailey!!

    Like

    1. That awkward moment when Monica Church is the YouTuber I was talking about… 🙂 But yeah, she definitely spends less than some other people. And yeah, my Sunday School class was talking today about people getting mad over such trivial things. We’re so spoiled in America. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As someone who moved to the US when I was REALLY young, it’s insane how privelged we are, and I do agree with a ton of your points. During the past semester it was rammed into our heads during an environmental science course that here, WE ARE STINKING RICH. I’m also guilty about wanting things for selfish reasons.

    Some of the luxuries we have here parts of my family don’t have. For example, when I went to visit my relatives in the Philippines, there is no such thing as a washing machine, OH NO. It’s basically getting a large silver bowl and scrubbing your clothes one by one to air day. Basically, anything that’s a machine in the house we don’t have (except for a fridge and a microwave). You cannot complain. Water has to get picked up and filled from a water aquifer every day place because drinking tap water is bad. When I complained about how there was no air conditioning, it was really stupid of me because we stayed in the only room OUT OF FIVE that had air conditioning while my cousins sleep in the 85 degree weatherand my grandmother only had a fan that half worked. There’s also traffic everywhere and there is no such thing as personal space while riding the subway. An MRT car (it’s like a subway) that could fit roughly thirty people in NYC sitting and standing pushes almost twice that amount in there.

    We should be out doing something instead of complaining, like you said. I think the problem is that so many people don’t wrap their heads around other’s lifestyles around the world. It didn’t occur to me all those things until I took a trip back to the Philippines recently. We live in a country where sleeping in a warm bed without any worries is the norm, but when looking at the rest of the world, we’re a small percentage of the lucky. And we need to be exposed to what’s going on besides our little sphere on this side of the hemisphere.

    Great post, Hailey!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s