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Archive for June 9, 2012

Entitlement–a surging sociological disease

I’ve moved into an apartment in downtown St. Petersburg, and I noticed something odd. Notes–lots of notes left on people’s car windshields about where and how they park. Yes, I’ve received these notes, and so have many others. ‘Please park farther up,’ ‘please park farther back,’ ‘please don’t park here,’ ‘please park there…’

Let me be clear, there is no assigned parking in this area; it’s just a bunch of people feeling entitled to parking a certain way in a certain place for whatever reason and feeling even more entitled to tell everyone else how they should be doing it. Maybe it’s a psychological disorder–people with surging grandiosity complexes who have hallucinated a seniority system in their own minds, where they are at the top, that they believe should apply to all others.

Most likely, however, it’s just another sad, vapid display of entitlement. America is nearly crippled with this disease of entitlement. Screw welcoming someone new to the neighborhood! Let’s try to push them around so that they understand just how important I am, and that I am entitled to act like a horse’s ass, and they are obligated to obey me and agree that I am entitled to my self-appointed bullshit.

These are the same people who stand in the middle of the supermarket with their cart jackknifed so that no one could possibly get around them. The same people who talk on their cell phones as they are going up to the bank teller, expecting everyone else to wait for their conversation to end. The same morons who walk down a sidewalk with a group of friends side-by-side headed right towards you, expecting you to either walk right through them or stumble off to the grass to get around them, because they feel entitled to have you move versus stepping to the side so that everyone can walk freely at the same time…

Here’s the thing, I’m not interested. No, I do not agree that you are entitled to anything more or less than anyone else. Not for any reason. No, I will not treat you with increased reverence or even fear because you throw an infantile temper tantrum or demand some sort of un-earned and ill-deserved respect. Frankly, you and your banal antics bore me. It’s not unique, you know–you’re common. Far too common if you look around to this national epidemic of entitlement.

Another very sad side-effect of this disease, it makes those inflicted with it look small and maybe even a little slow-witted. Though they think they look important or scary. Sad. Perhaps there will be some treatment, cure or immunization in the future to save generations to come. Meanwhile, we must attempt to arm ourselves with the only defenses available: kindness, graciousness, hospitality and generosity.

And so, in the end, I will leave this infirmed individual to that parking space in question, in the name of courtesy–a trait that is far too uncommon in society today. Not that I agree that anyone deserves a particular parking space for any reason, but because it is simply generous of me to let it go and move along. And so I will.

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