Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Entitlement Mentality

Marie and I were discussing some family-based current events. The kids were completely disinterested in our conversation, but I thought it was important to bring the Artist into it.

She regularly hears the following exclamation from me:




(with the dreaded three exclamation points)

I do. I really do. Laziness, to me, is when someone chooses not to do something they are capable of doing, or chooses not to attempt to do something. Rather, they will be content with doing nothing, even if it is a detriment to them to do nothing. Or worse, they will wait until someone else does it for them.

Marie and I stopped our conversation, and I turned to the Artist, asking, "Have you heard of the term 'entitlement mentality'?" She gave that weird, deer in headlights look, and said, "I don't think so". We introduced the concept to her, explaining the concept in terms of money.

Dad: Let's say I gave you money every day. You didn't do anything to deserve it, but I continued to give it to you.

Artist: Okay.

Dad: Then one day, I didn't give it to you. If you are like most people, you would say, "Hey! Where is my money?" You would be expecting it, even though you didn't earn it.

Artist: Oh

Dad: Is that good?

Artist: No

Dad: Well, that is very common. There are people who are either too lazy to do something for themselves, or they find someone who is willing to do it for them. They come to expect the kindness ("charity", "love", pick your word) to continue. And when it doesn't, look out! They will get angry, upset, let you know that you don't care about them anymore, you're not fulfilling your 'responsibility' and all that stuff.

From there, Marie, the Artist and I discussed how this happens in families, in public, and even in churches. People become very comfortable having someone else do something for them, never attempting to do it for themselves yet getting angry with others when those others stop doing for them.

It's bad, spiritually speaking, because people become lazy and envious of others that have more. It's bad, socially speaking, because people harbor inappropriate expectations of their community, their church, and their government (ick - the worst of all!), and spend more time determining what they can get away with instead of how they need to grow.

We were pretty blunt with the Artist. How do you discuss these topics with your children?


Scott said...

I'm too lazy to talk about it with my kids.

ok... What usually happens is dad goes off ranting and raving about paying taxes so that people who don't want to work don't have to. Emily got earfuls every time we drove past the projects on the way to or from work when we were working together...

Rick said...

Yeah, I know about the ranting part. I do it, too. :-)

It counts in little things, too. We force ourselves not to clean up after our kids, no matter whether the items are articles of clothes, plates or toys. (It's an easy habit for both of us to pick up the mess, so we have to remind ourselves not to.) If we don't teach them to do for themselves now, they will eventually embrace the model called "someone else will do it for you".

Scott said...

we just don't clean up!