Entitlement…an issue with many faces.

Entitlement is a huge issue in our day. I think it has always been an issue, but has come to the forefront a lot more lately.

Recently, a discussion came up when a site that offered free downloadable charts for many years, decided to charge a membership. The woman has a vast amount of resources which she wrote, put together and offered for free. I always wondered how she could do it for free. However, when she began to change a reasonable fee for access, many commented that it was unfair. They have always been free, she should still offer them for free. How dare she do it without warning…etc.

We move on to the medical system. I am a doula. My services are not free, but they are very reasonably priced. However, for many that feel they want that fancy stroller system, extra nice car seat, and the hospital is covered by government insurance, why should they work to pay for a service? They have to be convinced of the value before realizing they want it. Often, sadly, this is their second baby when they realize they should have paid for it for the first. The complications, trauma and others that often happen without education and support are skyrocketing. Yet, we feel we deserve to have the best care, for free.

And it is not only there…

This past week, I had to deal with a local office on issues of property management. I realized after one week of getting a run around, lack of good info, and poor communication on their part that I had to address it. Shaking and nervous, I did. The woman was defensive, blamed me and the client, and refused to apologize or take any effort to even admit there was an issue. She felt entitled to her opinion. She was the agency with the power, or so she believed. It is hard to have to deal with entitled entities as well.

One though, that I often don’t hear spoken about as much, comes to gift receiving.

I am sure by now, we have all been to weddings where the invite dictated, “Only cash or gift cards” with no viable reason for that, except that the receivers are particular and wish to do their own shopping perhaps. I will admit, those people receive paltry gifts from me. I feel that it is really crude and unseemly to dictate that.

We also have parents that I often see complain that relatives do not follow the list of prescribed gifts, or give too many gifts, or the like. I think one thing people often forget, is it is a gift.

The very definition of a gift is:

a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
“a Christmas gift”
synonyms: present, handout, donation, offering, bestowal, bonus, award, endowment; More

It has nothing to do with the receiver. We, however, have chosen to believe that we can dictate. In this day and age of gift registries, (which should simply be suggestions or ideas), gift cards, and the like. We believe we have a right to dictate others actions. We feel entitled to the only things we allow.

We don’t.

We do have the right to reject a gift. Return it, trash it, give it away. The local thrift store would love brand new toys. Toys for Tots, or other needy families.

It should however, be a bigger lesson we can learn. Gratefulness. Thankfulness.

Our lives will hold more meaning if we stop trying to be entitled to dictate the actions of others, expect others to work for us for free, (but not do the same in return), or find peace in accepting what is given to us, even when we don’t want it.


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