On the Topic: Entitlement

I’m thinking of starting a new series for my blog called “On the Topic.” But it also might end up being just me babbling on and on about my views on a topic. Which is what it actually is. Does anyone even care about my opinion? I do and that’s all that matters to me! If anyone can love you, it might as well be yourself, right?

What I want to discuss/talk at the Internet today is entitlement. Entitlement is defined as “the fact of having a right to something.” Often we hear the word entitlement thrown at young adults, children nowadays, and on a more political spectrum: entitlement programs. Hopefully, I’ll touch on all three of these ideas and make my opinion clear, or won’t make anything up.

When I think of entitlement, I think of all three versions that I mentioned above. The reference to entitled children with all the gadgets that just didn’t exist when I grew up, entitlement programs that many believe the government should not fund, and the idea that millennials are super entitled.

Let’s just think about this. Why do children in elementary school need iPhones? Why do they need the latest tablet or god forbid laptop? The greatest thing we had when I was in elementary school is those old Apple computers and they were like something out of the future. Yes, we had computers, but they were desktop computers in the library and a luxury. We all know that I’m a nerd so my favorite learning receptacle was a book. When I see kids with books nowadays, they’re thrown around, treated like trash, a chore. I know that not everyone will feel the same way that I do, but books are magical. They hold different worlds, will take you to new heights, will teach you something new. It boggles my mind that kids have cell phones at such a young age. I think the biggest consequence of throwing all this technology at young kids is that it makes them almost helpless everywhere else. How many kids do you know that memorized their parent’s phone numbers? Their house numbers? Their friends’ numbers? I remember memorizing all of these things. Now there’s “favorites,” I was lucky to have speed dial by the time I was in middle school. I know that I’m a guilty participant, but people are so dependent on technology now, they barely know how to survive without wi-fi. It’s horrifying or even a spectacle when cafés don’t provide wi-fi. What kind of archaic practice is this? I think the most important part of growing up is knowing that everything won’t be given to you. I’ve certainly had my moments when I was younger where I was given luxuries that I didn’t need, but I also knew there was a value in the things I owned. I knew how hard my parent’s worked to give me all those gymnastic lessons, cute clothes, and family vacations. I feel like today, all of those things are expected. Maybe this could be a critique on society as much as children, but I just find that material items don’t have the magic of just things you can just experience.

This shouldn’t even be up for discussion, but there’s an obvious stigma surrounding entitlement programs. Do people abuse the system? Absolutely. However, some people really do depend on these programs because they have no other way to survive. I think the initial idea of all of these programs strive to serve those who need it, but because of the loopholes and other tomfoolery, people believe this notion that entitlement programs are just that: for entitled people. I think we should focus on the definition of entitlement itself. The “right to have something.” While people don’t deserve the right to have everything under the sun, people do deserve a living minimum wage. They do deserve unemployment if they are applying, going after each job, and are still struggling. Food stamps are important and people don’t just apply for them to get free food. It’s about the basic need to survive. Entitlement programs aren’t perfect. Much of life isn’t perfect and it goes without saying that many government programs (including all levels of the government itself) aren’t perfect. It’s impossible to please everyone.

Sometimes I hesitate to call myself a millennial, I mean I was born in 1994 and millennials technically begin in the mid-1990’s so I’m technically not by a year, right? I kid you not, when I googled millennial to double check the birth year range, one of the first things that came up was “millennial entitlement.” I definitely have a love-hate relationship with the word. I love how millennials are so savvy in a way that they are just able to grasp a concept or skill with ease. But I hate how millennials are so blasé, how they move so fast. While I like to move fast, I also find solace in moving a little slower, taking my time to enjoy my surroundings. I’m a writer and an English Lit major so you already know I love finding the magic in the little things. But back on topic, are millennials really entitled? In my most humble and unbiased opinion (felt a need to say it), I think there’s a confusion between entitlement and knowing one’s self-worth. At least in my own case, I know how valuable I am and I know that I can do great things, which is why I hold myself up so high. I don’t feel that I deserve a job just because, but I feel I deserve a job because I’ve already accomplished so much and I’ve done the hard work. I know I have more work to come, but I feel that my past will only help strengthen my future. I’m not saying that I deserve gold or to be a millionaire. I’m saying I deserve to earn my keep so to speak. Does that make sense at all? I think there’s value in knowing your self-worth. It goes hand-in-hand with not settling. I wholeheartedly believe that you cannot settle in life. If you settle in life, you don’t have a life worth living. Maybe I am entitled to a certain degree, but I think one of the best things to have is confidence in yourself. In order to succeed or get anywhere in life, you need to believe in yourself. How are people supposed to believe in you if you don’t even believe in yourself? You can only go so far in life as you are willing to take yourself.

Now that’s all I got. What do you think of entitlement or any of the things I’ve said above? I’d love to hear other opinions!



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