Being the youngest in my family, I had grown up believing I was entitled to everything. It made very dependent. I expected to get everything from my older ones. But as I advanced in age, I realised that nobody really owes me anything.
The saying “no pain, no gain” could not be any truer. The entitlement makes one forget that other people count. It makes one take the other person for granted. But you save yourself the shame of being someone who can’t do anything, save yourself from disappointments, when you don’t raise your expectations.
This entitlement has eaten deep into the society. It shows in simple manners, showing courtesy and general everyday behaviour. If a child finds it difficult to say please and thank you, but demands to have his/her wants every time, then pray tell, what we should call that? In fact, that is how the trend develops. Children should learn basic etiquette to know how to make requests. This way, they learn that some things are not their rights.
This mentality continues to show its ugly head everywhere. As a nation, we feel entitled. We believe that the government is responsible for us. Yes, they are, but we have a role to play too. If there are no jobs, must we wait for the government to provide jobs? Thank God for technology, one can learn the needed skills to pay the bills.
We complain we have bad roads. How about the roadside sellers and those disobeying traffic laws that make driving on the roads a nightmare? Can’t we do our own part to create a safe haven? As a community, we can practise as little as filling the potholes, or proper sanitation so that the drainage don’t get blocked.
Have you encountered security men at the banks? Some of them can harass you when you are spending time with the ATM downloading cash. I thought their jobs were to ensure safety of lives and property. So why do some of them feel that they also have to receive tips from you when you make a withdrawal? For no reason, the security man hails you because he feels entitled to a percentage of the money being collected.
Likewise, these types of scenes also happen in eateries. It could be shameful if the person is visibly older than you, but refuses to take caution. Imagine, over your hard earned money. They still expect you to shake body. You better be in a good mood to form father Christmas for them, but if you ask me, it’s your money, so you can do as you please.
Even in the universities and colleges, this sense of entitlement is present. After graduating from school, the normal thing would be to do clearance. Do you know that in some offices, before they sign your documents, they feel entitled to some amount of money. This tradition causes stress and strain, shows that you can’t finish schooling in the country without giving tips. You must always go ‘boxed up,’ because you must drop something before they release your documents to you.
We can blame it on the state of the economy. The rate of poverty is alarming. Truth be told, people should give because they want to, not because they are manipulated or forced to. Nobody should feel that people owe them anything, or someone is responsible for them.
How about during a job search? When getting a job is through an agency, the agent feels that it entitles him to a certain percentage of one’s salary because he/she has influenced your getting the job. This is a clear case of ‘scratch my back, I scratch your back’. Thankfully, people are becoming wiser and aware that you can get jobs without giving tips.
In politics, godfathers use their sense of entitlement to collect from their candidates, because they formed part of the politician’s success story.
How about the police? They remind us that the police is your friend. The tradition of parting with some cash at checkpoints is becoming the norm. The “Sir/Madam, anything for the boys?” must not return to the policemen void. It must produce cash.
And then, relationships-bobos and babes, or even married couples, sometimes feel entitled to money, time and care. You would agree with me that living with the sense of entitlement is killing relationships.
There is a thin line between being generous and being put under undue pressure to be generous. When it goes beyond the line, it becomes a sense of entitlement.