“Please Sir, can I have some more?”
What’s greedy and what’s a healthy state of self respect and ENTITLEMENT?
There is rarely an older generation that looks at the younger generation without a thing or two to say about their sense of ENTITLEMENT.
How often have we heard …
“Well back in my day we didn’t have it so easy, we had it tougher than the kids of today have it, they don’t know how lucky they are!”
Monty Python’s Flying Circus dialogue comes to mind as I write this Word Vitamin about ENTITLEMENT where four Yorkshire-men are competing with stories on who had it the hardest in their youth. This skit sums up beautifully the snobbery that can exist in our older years, where being deprived of basic human respect in our youth is something some cranky, crusty people like to gloat about …..
“Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to ‘ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick road clean wit’ tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit’ bread knife.”
The the other Yorkshireman would then up the anti with his tale of hardship …
“Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o’clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.”
But jokes aside of course, as decades pass these stories of hardship are too often used to shame younger generations not inspire them. Of course there are lessons to be learned from history, advantages and also disadvantages come with each era.
Our right, our prerogative and our claim to a safe and meaningful life is what most cultures desire for their children. The younger generations sense of ENTITLEMENT we would hope would evolve our children the right to claim a better quality of life for themselves and their children, in all areas.
In Oliver Twist that young orphan boy asking for more soup in his naïve innocence was his birthright. In a healthy environment a child is honoured and ENTITLED to eat until their little belly is nourished. In unhealthy environments natural instincts like feeling safe, nurtured, nourished and valued are not honoured. This breeds adults that grow up with a damaged sense of self and a damaged sense of basic human ENTITLEMENT. A hunger to know more, ask for more, be more and question more is sometimes dismissed too often by older generations as wrong or self indulgent, who were not afforded these birthrights. They shame and make a young, questioning and hungry heart wrong, even disrespectful simply because they live in a more modern world.
So as we review this word ENTITLEMENT in relation to our basic healthy human rights let’s pause to check in on how we are going. How emotionally fit are we at disagreeing without disrespect, making healthy changes, growing older with grace and integrity and asking for more love from and for ourselves and each other as the years pass?
If we won’t allow ourselves to claim our basic human birthrights we are all ENTITLED to in healthy relationships we will deny them also to others. Love, respect, disagreement without disrespect or disconnection, food, shelter, nourishment and emotional safety especially when we are angry and sad are necessary for us all.
May we all defend ours and others rights just a little more when it comes to deserving and claiming a bold and beautiful life. Let’s remember to let go of our ego, competitive pride and condescending indignation toward younger, braver generations as every heart is ENTITLED to question, challenge, recreate and enjoy this big beautiful world for themselves. Including you and me!
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™