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June 9, 2021

Entitlement

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For whatever reason, this idea makes me shutter, and because of that discomfort I’m choosing to explore it. The word is entitlement. Basically, entitlement means that you have rights to something, that by the nature of how it exists you get to choose what you do with it. While this has been normalized in more of a legal sense when talking about health care, property, etc., the entitlement I'm exploring is personal entitlement. It's the perception that you are owed something, whether that be happiness, wealth, or whatever it is you want more of.

This is a dangerous approach to have. When you have a strong entitled belief about something in your life there are 2 major consequences: First is the egocentrism. You view things as revolving around you and you relate everything back to yourself in almost a narcissistic way, and it affects the way you can exist with others.  Then second is more of the mindset it brings. Entitlement breeds complacency. If you feel like you have rights to something, or that you’re owed something, you’re much less likely to work hard for it because you feel like you don’t have to. Then when you don’t get it you experience an inner-conflict that makes you feel like you’re being undeservedly punished, which escalates your perceived entitlement.

Given all of that, it’s important to recognize that every single one of us is very fortunate. Having grown accustomed to that good fortune, we may live in a way that makes us feel somewhat entitled to that standard of living. That’s where I invite you to view your circumstances as privilege, not entitlement. Privilege allows you to relate your personal situation with others. It takes a more comprehensive view about how you fit into the world, and ultimately, allows you to have a more positive relationship with the blessings in your life.

Anyway, I know you didn’t ask, but those are my thoughts on entitlement.

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