In our society, the pervasive mentality is entitlement. We feel we are entitled to everything. I am entitled to a N150,000 salary after graduation; I am entitled to a brand new N60,000 phone; I am entitled to a car, a house, a fat bank account just because other people have them. So I am entitled to success, I am entitled to everything now.
According to Conservapedia, an entitlement mentality is a state of mind in which an individual comes to believe that privileges are instead rights and they are to be expected as a matter of course.1
One problem with this mentality is the attitude of expecting something for nothing. One with such attitude believes that other people owe him something even when he has made little or no effort at getting what he wants. This attitude does not follow the principle of giving and receiving but is only based on taking – taking from employers, from the state, from friends, from family. It is extremely self-centered, whatever one can gain.
An entitlement mentality is characterized by a lack of responsibility. Sometimes one’s problems can be one’s own making but an individual with the entitlement mentality is hardly able to accept fault.
Entitlement mentality makes us take a lot for granted. We hardly realize that ALL WE HAVE ARE GIFTS. If we recognize that then we would act differently. We would speak with humility and our relationships will be better.
We need to say “Thank you” more.
The more we say thank you, even just verbally, the more we’ll begin to recognize the gifts in our lives. I know a husband who does the dishes every night for his wife. Now it’s just expected. But what if she made an effort to verbally thank him for washing the dishes? It’s something that I’m sure we all could begin to take for granted, but if she goes out of her way to thank him, she’ll remember that his service is a gift of love to her. Likewise, his act of washing the dishes is itself a “thank you” for cooking dinner. But what if he goes out of his way to verbally thank her for dinner? It’s hard to believe a relationship can’t be helped by these little acts of gratitude, and practicing them will help cultivate the virtue in our lives so that we can see acts of love everywhere.2
The things we are to be grateful for we take for granted and we unnecessarily give chance to worry. The man at the hospital who lost his legs in an accident wishes to have his legs back not a mansion. You have your legs. If God should ask that blind man you know to make one request he would grant, it would be for his sight to be whole. You forget that your sight is a gift. Ask the woman who has had ten miscarriages and no child yet for what she desires and she will tell you “A child.” You have children and you hardly see them as gifts. You have your university education but you are not aware that some businessmen who stopped at secondary school envy that about you. You have your job but it is in this same country that a lot of graduates are unemployed. You have a home and a family but some children who are human beings like you are in the orphanage. You have your health but someone is presently battling with his life due to cancer. Your kidneys are fine so you do not know their value. Ask those who have gone for kidney transplant and you will be convinced that you will prefer having your kidneys in good health than receiving a million naira cheque.
Regardless of your challenges, go down on your knees after counting your blessings and offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God. The best things in life are free and you have them already.
- Entitlement Mentality, Conservapedia, conservapedia.com/Entitlement_mentality
- Joannie Watson, Cultivating Gratitude, The Integrated Catholic Life, integratedcatholiclife.org/2016/02/watson-cultivating-gratitude/#.VtcDukBvMZ4, Accessed March 2, 2016