Friday, April 10, 2009


Every now and then I see an article or hear someone talk about 'entitlement' and images come forth of a spoiled teenager with a frown on their face because they don't have a cell phone like their friends or whatever.  

In a nutshell:  I'm a bad parent because Sofi has stuff we didn't have when we were kids and she takes it for granted.  Huh?  I'm a bad parent because Sofi has it better than we did?

This concept of 'entitlement' as a bad thing irritates me.  Something I learned back when I got my psych degree - it's human nature to take for granted what you have;  people, as a rule, tend to get used to their current situation.  Which may be a good thing - it may be where progress, productivity, prosperity come from - you get used to what you have and you want to go to the next level.  So you invent something.  You work.  And you create stuff for other people and get yourself more stuff.  And then you get used to that.  And so on.  Capitalism 101 I guess.

I'm sure I feel more entitlement than my parents did - I feel entitled to the internet, to having stuff delivered to my home without having to go to a store, to a huge array of entertainment options, to a home heated to 69 degrees.  And I'm sure Sofi will feel entitled to things I don't yet take for granted.

Another nice thing about people getting used to their situation - it works both ways.  You have stuff taken away from you;  say, for example, the stock market crashes and your net worth plummets.  At first it sucks, but after a while you get used to the new baseline, and you're happy when it seems like the stock market may have hit bottom and be coming back.

These anti-entitlement people remind me of cantankerous old farts grumbling, "Quit your whining, you could live in a concentration camp or a third-world slum."  I'm exaggerating a little - I do have respect for the people who can say "It's okay that I have no shoes, could be worse, could have no feet" - and sometimes I'll 'enjoy' a movie about poverty that reminds me just how good I have it.  

But still, step the hell off, people.

Wow, just noticed that blogspot has a "monetize" button now.  That's pretty awesome.  "Push this button to make money."  Maybe that's another thing Sofi will feel entitled to one day: push-button money. 

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