Home > Perspective, Reflection > On Entitlement

On Entitlement

I. Where Are We, Really?

While it’s tempting to be intoxicated by the thrill of being young and (if we’re honest about our real commitments) free, I am wary. Youth and beauty and talent might be a license to indulge in pleasurable excess and vain, if sometimes hilarious, stupidity (I understand that people call this ‘having fun’). But does the fact that it is excusable make it (dare I say it) right?

I understand that my admonishment may seem pointed, but if it is, then I am as much the target as anything else, or anyone I could have in mind. In the light of that I hope that my question inspires soul-searching rather than resistance, because it is not an indictment.

II. Promise And Its Dangers

My thoughts stem in part from questions that Dean put to a few of the youth during Alpha training two weeks ago about the rather remarkable socio-economic makeup of my cell. My response was to the effect that we can’t deny the circumstances or the facts contributing to our identity, and that the facts and circumstances are, objectively speaking, fortunate. An observer would have his pick of labls, from ‘elite’ to ‘undeserving’.

I do not suggest that any attempt should be made to manipulate outside opinion. However, the least we could do is guard against a sense of entitlement. If it is inevitable that certain things about us are going to be seen as exclusive, it is also our decision whether or not exclusivity becomes part of our attitude. We do what we can on our part.

I don’t think we’re going down that path. All the same, I think I find myself drifting towards pride and contempt too often to not be cautious.


Army life does not help my contempt problem.

Categories: Perspective, Reflection
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