I first heard the term “entitlement nation” somewhere between 2005 and 2008. I can picture some article hanging on the wall somewhere at work. Or maybe it was the back page of a magazine at work. In any case, entitlement was about–so I thought–the general public wanting something for nothing. As in, people wanting money for not working, people wanting healthcare without paying for it, people wanting to retire without saving for it. Little did I know how wrong I was. Perhaps it is more accurate to say little did I know how small a part of entitlement those big social programs were.
Want to know what entitlement is? Entitlement is driving too close to a semi-truck that kicks up a rock that chips your windshield and believing the semi-truck should pay for the damage. Entitlement is believing that you should only have to stand in line a certain amount of time at a store. Entitlement is believing that your food should come out in a timely manner at a precise temperature, and if it doesn’t, the restaurant should pay for the meal.
Learning is defined as a change in behavior based on experience. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.
By the time a person is old enough to drive he has heard stories of large trucks kicking up rocks which can chip windshields. Learning has not occurred when a person drives too close to a large truck. Learning has occurred when a 16-year old gives a large truck enough space for some other moron to drive too close to it.
By the time a person is old enough to be in a line at a store by himself he has to have seen the correlation between number of items and people and the length of the wait. Learning has not occurred when this person freaks out or allows his emotional state to change because he just can’t believe he has to wait so long. Learning has occurred when an impatient person stops shopping during the busiest time of the day.
By the time a person is old enough to be at a restaurant and pay their own way he has to have seen the occasional slip up by the staff. Learning has not occurred when this person demands their food be free and throws a temper-tantrum. Learning has occurred when this person pays their bill and never returns to the restaurant *or* returns but has lengthened the expected wait time and lowered the expected temperature of the food.
Learning is changing. Insanity is sameness. Entitlement is sameness. Entitlement is insanity.
Quit being insane people.