Jay Rifenbary

Jay Rifenbary's Blog

Entitlement - A Catalyst for Catastrophe

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There is a growing trend towards a societal sense of entitlement progressing across this country, and it is only becoming stronger and more evident as leaders, and the government itself, market themselves as the caretakers for all of our nations’ citizens and non-citizens problems and disappointments. It is not the responsibility of some other entity to take care of our personal problems and correct our own mistakes. It is the responsibility of each individual to learn from mistakes and take the necessary steps to improve their own personal challenges. I do not believe we are entitled to things we have not participated in or made an attempt to earn. When an individual, and subsequently a society, begin to become dependent on someone or something else to take care of them, individual creativity, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and personal accountability deteriorates rapidly. Why would I take the steps to excel in any endeavor when there is no incentive or reward for putting greater effort into the endeavor then someone else? This entitlement attitude also has a significant impact on an individual’s self-respect. If one did not know how to earn what they have, or does not know how to earn what they want, how could one have any degree of self-worth? When we spoil our children, give them things they have not earned, the destructive aftermath of a lack of self-worth becomes evident. I do not believe we are entitled to the resulting efforts of others.

What message do we send our children when they are inundated with propagandized rational that they should have the same as everyone else without having to earn it? What they learn is their life, its’ successes and failures are a result of someone else’s actions.. Another result is that mediocrity becomes the norm, and apathy towards achievement is accepted. The ability and right to choose the course of our own lives will be over; and the principle of self-determination will be lost forever. Our core values should not include the idea that our life is not our life but the instrument of some other entity that controls it. Our core values should include principles that encourage personal ownership for our behaviors, and an attitude promoting the ability to structure our own future.

As a society I do believe we have a responsibility to help our fellow citizens in need. To make sure a child does not starve, a victim of poverty does not suffer, care and aid are provided to those who have truly been victimized, and those who have been on the receiving end of nature’s wrath. What can we do as parents and citizens? Do not set an example that it is someone else’s fault for the mistakes we make and have made. Do exemplify behaviors that encourage self-reliance, initiative, accountability, creativity, integrity and other core values that enhance an understanding of personal life ownership.

We all have the ability, and given the opportunity, to become aware of our potential as individuals; and to build upon the unique skills and talents we possess to expand life’s understanding and make a positive impact on one another. A world where everyone is patterned to be the same, and controlled by the few, will only diminish our ability to reach our full human potential. Take the time to assess your own future, the current decisions that have to be made, and the path upon which those decisions are implemented. With a solid foundation of core values, an understanding of self-reliance, an acceptance of personal accountability, and an attitude of selfless behavior, how could we not be happy? Relying on something else to mange our life is analogous to being behind bars. You are trapped from creating the future you want. Enjoy the freedom that comes with self-reliance because you will have earned it.



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