Yes, I have your attention! Read on before you rally the troops and come for my head.
Earlier this week I was had a conversation with a young man who waxed on about how self-sufficient he is. He spoke proudly about not having to ever ask- or depend on- anyone for anything. I asked if he meant to suggest that he never needed anyone for anything, and he stated “not as an adult”. Further, he bitterly spat that nobody had ever done anything for him. He spoke about his younger sister being coddled and codependent, and vowed to never be the type of parent his mother was.
As I listened to this young man, I tried to understand why his heart seemed so hard. Had he not been raised in a loving, nurturing environment? Had someone important in his life disappointed him, abused him, neglected him? I immediately began to silently pray for him; that every blockade would be removed that keeps him from experiencing (receiving and giving) genuine love, compassion, and gratitude. Even if nobody had done anything for him as an adult, surely someone contributed to his development into adulthood.
The sentiments expressed by this young man are (sadly) common to many young people today. Entitlement is the order of the day. Selfishness is the appetizer.
My role is not A judge, and my goal is not TO judge. I do want to offer food for thought to the person who is hesitant to give or share, who is reluctant to give thanks, and who believes nobody has ever done anything for them. Consider this dear one; someone gave birth to you. Someone (even if not the person who gave birth to you) fed you, clothed you, provided your basic needs. Most mothers sacrifice and struggle in ways their children never see or even imagine.
To combat an attitude of ingratitude, a banner of bitterness, and a mindset of meanness, I suggest thinking of at least one person to whom you can (or at least should) be thankful. Gratitude is a wonderful antidote for entitlement. The one person you should always be thankful for (and express it often) is, you guess it…