Author: maggie Washo
I had an interesting telephone discussion with my father last night and it is still on my mind today. In a meandering conversation about life in general, somehow we started talking about an attitude of entitlement that seems to permeate some of the younger set today—a general attitude that the world and society owes them certain things in life. Healthcare. Free contraception. A job making $60,000 right out of college because they have a piece of paper that says they completed a course or two.
When did we start teaching children that they just have to show up to get a medal or a trophy? Why do we pay for a child’s education instead of making them work through college so that they know the value of the degree?
I don’t have children, so I can’t speak to the right or wrong way to raise someone. I can only speak from my own experience being brought up. I was the oldest of five children and was expected to help around the house. A lot. I was not paid to do this; it was just part of being a family unit. Everyone contributes to the good of “society.”
A friend of mine just taught his daughter a valuable lesson last week when they encountered a man on the street asking for money. “Dad, you should give that man $50,” said my friend’s eight-year-old. Sensing an opportunity for a teaching moment, my friend countered with this, “I’ll tell you what. We can go home and you can pull weeds in the yard, clean out my car, tidy up your bedroom, do the dishes and sweep the floor. When you are done with that, I will give you the $50 that you earned and we can drive back and give it to that man.” His daughter sat silently for a moment and then responded, “Well why doesn’t he just do all of those chores for the $50?”
Exactly. A light came on in her little head. Nothing in this life comes for free. You have to work hard for what you want. Everyone should contribute to make the world a better place. If you want a new car, save for it. If you want to take a vacation, save for it. The recession we are just now seeing the other side of was created by a whole society of people buying on credit without the means to actually pay for it on the back end.
You are entitled to nothing in this life. Remember that and you’ll do well.
I’m stepping down off of my soapbox now.