Here I’ve been thinking that the opposite of Entitlement is Gratitude, and what was needed to shift an entitlement mentality was a healthy dose of gratitude. But, noooooo. The opposite of Entitlement is RESPONSIBILITY.
I admit, I do know some people who seem to feel entitled to what they have, and more! And I kept thinking I needed to get them to focus on how much they DO have, how GOOD they have it, how people in so many other countries have it SO much harder. But, I noticed that those efforts weren’t actually shifting that sense for them. How do I know this? I was reading the comics yesterday morning and this comic was written for me, aka She-Who-Takes-on-Responsibility-That-Belongs-To-Others:
I hearkened back to my childhood, something worth hearkening back to, and I remembered how I was expected to contribute to the running of the household and the care of myself. I cleaned house, cleaned my room, kept my car filled with gas, participated in church activities, school activities, and studied for tests. I starting working at age 11, because I had the opportunity to work with my dad, but I was always interested in working, even scrubbing the kitchen floor, on hands and knees with my sisters one time, for the princely sum of $9.00, to be split three ways.
But I wouldn’t say I was grateful. I complained because my mom didn’t want to buy me the same clothes everyone else was wearing. My first Aigner jeans were bought with my own money. I complained because I wasn’t allowed to go places at all hours. It was distinctly unfair that we weren’t allowed to watch MTV. Church morning and night?? OMG, parents.
I would definitely say, though, that I was responsible. And because I was not only responsible, but ultra-super-overly-extra responsible, I did that human thing and ricocheted to the other end of the spectrum as a parent. Tried to say yes whenever I could. Did nice things for my children. And thought they would catch responsibility and gratitude. Au contraire. It is the delegation of responsibility onto a young person which is gradually assumed by that young person and ultimately creates a responsible adult.
Important note: This post is about my understanding of the entitlement mentality and may not reflect the views of others in my home.