If you live in a developed country like the United States, Great Britain, or Canada, then you know all too well the luxuries afforded to us that many others in the world simply don’t. And I don’t mean cars, video games or computers. I’m talking about freedom of speech without fear of decapitation and right to a public education type luxuries.
However, especially in this day and age, so many of us have lost what it means to be appreciative of these things that others quite literally die for on a daily basis. Not only that, but these luxuries we have also gives many of us an entitled sense, even if we don’t think we have it. We think that things we deserve are things that we are entitled to, and that’s not the case. What do I mean? I’m referring to things we think we’re owed, but, truthfully, we’re not. And we never will be. Here’s a list of things we may deserve, but, frankly, we aren’t entitled to.
**Warning: This Take isn’t for the easily offended. And I’m serious.
1. An Explanation
As a teacher, I know first hand what it’s like to deal with people who believe you have to explain yourself to them. And it’s one thing to explain The Taming of the Shrew to a class of sophomores. But then there’s the other explanations. Why am I doing this? Why do I have to listen to you? Or, for a more relatable set of examples: Why did you break up with me? Why do I have to be on time to work? Why do I have to do what my boss says when I know a better way? Why do I have to have good grades to play college sports? Why did my mother choose drugs over me? Why did my dad leave when I was only 2 years old?
Here’s your answer:
That’s it. The world nor any of its living beings don’t owe you an explanation for anything. You aren’t entitled to it. Do you deserve one? Probably. Doesn’t mean you will be getting it, and sometimes, you just need to accept it.
2. Another Person
And I mean ANYTHING about that person, regardless of ethnicity, gender, and nationality. Their sexual history, sexual partners, education level, income status, body parts, touching them, relationships, phone call, text message…nothing. Many of us have this attitude that we own the other person, even if we don’t think that. If you take your girlfriend out to dinner for 4 months straight every Saturday without fail, she doesn’t have to have sex with you. If you make your boyfriend breakfast before he goes to work and give him back rub before he goes to bed, that doesn’t mean he has to reciprocate. If a woman walks down the street with an unusually short skirt, that doesn’t mean you can have what’s underneath it. And if a black person is walking down the street with a huge afro, that doesn’t mean you can touch it without their permission. And trust me, the afro thing happens because it happened to both my sister and I on more than one occasion in more than one area.
Sorry, not entitled. People say respect isn’t given, it’s earned, and it’s true. I’ll admit, I had to learn this lesson the hard way myself. I taught freshman my first year teach in 2013 when I was 23 years old, and I got my ass handed to me the first couple of months. I didn’t quit and eventually gained control, but don’t think that having a title, job, or status in society means people should just automatically respect you.
4. An Education
And I’m referring to an education on any level. From kindergarten through your PhD, you just aren’t entitled to it. Do some of us live in countries where we can have one? Yes. Doesn’t mean you’re entitled. America has free public education until 12th grade, or approximately 17-18 years old. Then college you have to pay for. Is it expensive? Yes. Are you guaranteed a job afterwards? No. Will you drown in student loan debt? Probably. But a lot of countries don’t even have the option. So while you’re over here whining about a LUXURY, because that’s exactly what an education is, just remember, some people don’t have it.
Are you the best running back on the team? Awesome. Did you get a higher score a test than a classmate? Cool beans. Do you have more experience for a promotion than a colleague? Good for you. No one cares. Part of my job is to tell students that they can be anything they want to be as long as they put their minds to it, but the truth is, that’s a lie. A huge lie. A huge lie I’m paid to tell. You can score higher on a graduation test than a classmate and they get accepted to a college and you don’t. It’s very possible that you’re a great athlete, but the mediocre lad next to you was chosen to go pro over you. Just because you are more qualified for a position doesn’t mean you will get it. Life’s not fair.
I’m sure most people reading this already knew some of the things I mentioned. But for those of you who needed a bit of a reality check, there you go. The point of this Take was to explain what you aren’t owed, but truthfully, none of us are owed anything. Few people realize this. Even fewer believe it. But that’s just the truth.