It’s absolutely everywhere anymore. School, work, church, home, the hospital, everywhere else, and all the lanes between. Don’t think I’m some old geezer yapping about the current generation; I’m 25, right in the age group of a lot of movers and shakers today. And I absolutely cannot stand the overwhelming entitlement that has come to define us. It’s not just the young; every age group is plagued by this demand for what they think they ought to have.
Rights, privileges, material goods, on and on and on. And you know what? It’s all crap. We scream for what we deserve in the name of our freedom, entitlement doesn’t have anything to do with freedom. Entitlement is a chain.
Entitlement enslaves you
What does it mean when you “deserve” something. That you should rightfully get it, right? And what happens when you don’t? Watch the news to find your answer. People are losing their minds because they don’t have this right or that permission or this protection. As soon as you say “I deserve it,” you begin to actively organize your life around it until you no longer remember how to function without it. How is that freedom?
Entitlement enslaves everybody else
If you “deserve” something, then somebody has to give it to you, regardless of whether they actually have the capacity to give it or not. And so the laws come, forcing the world to adhere to what you deserve. A good education? We’ll overcrowd the schools without paying the teachers a nickel more and punish the schools who perform badly regardless of the flux of children who don’t want to be there. Healthcare? Sure, we’ll strain the already-broken system for you! Social Security? Well, if your kids don’t pay for it, they don’t really love you, do they?
Not that these things are inherently bad, it’s simply when we think we deserve them for no flipping reason that it overthrows all authority and becomes its own god. And that brings me to my biggest point:
The Myth of Entitlement
Where the crap does this idea of “I deserve it” come from? There’s no reason for it, no basis of logic, no cause for the effect. It’s just “I deserve it.” Why? “Because I deserve it.” Round and round the merry-go-round we go. But here’s the truth: it’s a lie. Entitlement is a farce that the public has played to roaring applause. Why is it false? Because there’s no authority behind it. Nothing simple “exists.” Everything happens because X happened before it. Nobody just “deserves” anything.
To make my point, I’ll take the biggest granted we humans have: life. News flash: you are not entitled to your own life. No, you’re not. Life is not something you deserve. How could you have possibly deserved it, having not lived until you…you know…lived?
If you believe in God, then your life was given to you by that same God. In that case, you didn’t deserve it or even it earn it; it was given to you as a gift, and if he is truly God, he has the power and authority to take it back, no questions asked.
If you don’t believe in God, then humanity simply “became” by the slow evolution and development of our species. How does that grant us entitlement to life? If anything, evolution says the opposite! Survival of the fittest would prove that life is for those who are strong enough to keep it. Nature does not treat life as a given.
So what’s left?
Entitlement versus Rights
Entitlement is something you just naturally deserve. Rights are things granted to you. Yet people seem to think they’re entitled to certain rights: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and a whole lot more. Sorry, you don’t deserve that, either. They were given to you.
Many claim they “deserve” this or that because of the Constitution. But that erases the claim! The government granted those rights, and being the government, it can take them away. You have them as long as the government wills it, deserving or no. “If they did that, we’d revolt and put up a NEW government” And we’re back on the merry-go-round of circular logic.
But my favorite reason for entitlement is the claim of “humanity.” You deserve it because you’re a human being? What is a human? It is a pile of dust that stands up and walks for a few years, then withers away into dust once again. Some believe in a God who gave validation to that pile of dust, but again, that’s a given, not an entitlement.
So what’s the point?
You don’t automatically deserve anything. You weren’t born with anything and you won’t take anything with you when you die, and that includes your “rights.” Everything is a gift, a joy. Whether you believe like I do that it was divinely given, or whether you believe circumstances aligned in your favor, the point is the same: enjoy it, relish in it, because it can be taken away without one care for your approval.
Am I saying that we shouldn’t fight for our rights or the rights of others? By no means! If you think God has given a right, fight for that right within the realms of Scripture and reason. If you think the government has given a right, fight for it within the realms of State and reason. (Side note, don’t confuse the two, you’ll just bring more headaches.)
Just remember that they are a given, not an automatic. Don’t bind yourself with the curse of “I deserve.” Let it go and be free. Free yourself, free others, and enjoy your many blessings.