Entitled To Nothing
by Jake Block
The new guy gets hired on as a full time worker in any job, any where. The first day on the job, he decides that someone is taking advantage of him, because he’s making $10.00 an hour making widgets, and Jim over there is getting $11.50 and Mike is getting almost $20.00! And look at this. They both have preferred parking and two more weeks vacation… and even more benefits! This is wrong, decides our new guy. I should get the same thing as everyone else.
To someone who has a sense of entitlement, it just wouldn’t matter that Jim is getting paid more because he has almost seven years on the job, and Mike has close to twenty. And that also reflects in their perks and benefits. Unfair? They have the experience and loyalty to the company that brought them well deserved rewards. The new guy is just going to have to prove his worth before he begins to see rewards but, if he works hard and contributes to the success of the company, surely they will come.
The phenomenon of those who feel they are entitled is nothing new, but the way we have coddled people into believing that everyone is a special little flower that deserves to have it all with as little effort as possible has spawned a generation that sees entitlement as normal. The world owes them for simply being there, rather than earning the perks they covet in others. They want the best of everything upon demand and, when they find out that this is not only impractical, but impossible, they bristle. Who are YOU to deny ME?
Back in 1963 there was a song by the Kingston Trio called DESERT PETE, that told of a guy who was dying of thirst in the desert, and he came upon an old, dry pump. Next to it was a jar with just a little water in it, and he was tempted to drink it… but he read the note attached.
“You’ve got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe
You’ve got to give of yourself ‘fore you’re worthy to receive.
Drink all the water you can hold, wash your face, cool your feet
Leave the bottle full for others, thank you kindly, Desert Pete.
Well I found that jar, and I tell ya nothin’ was ever prettier to my eye
And I was tempted strong to drink it, ‘cuz that pump looked mighty dry
But the note went on “Have faith my friend, there’s water down below;
You’ve got to give until you get I’m the one who ought to know”
Now, sure, the song can have some religious overtones with this talk of faith and belief, but it also teaches us a valuable lesson in life that each of us really needs to learn, lest we fall victim to the vanities of entitlement. In every job and in every situation, you have to pay your dues before you get anything of value out of the endeavor. That goes for a job, sports, even friendship. Unless you are willing to put something of yourself into it, you might eventually get some reward for just hanging around, but the feeling of receiving it will be hollow and unsatisfying. And you will scarcely see the respect that others who DO work to achieve, vs those who simply work for the check.
We see this in the right and left hand “path” that we’re on, where we see people who declare themselves to be a Witch or a Druid or a Shaman or a Satanist and they think that because they have read a book or two and declared themselves to be… you name it… they automatically become the recipient of all of the power and wisdom that everyone before them garnered from years and decades of study, practice and dedication. I can’t begin to tell you how many 15 or 16 year old Magisters and High Priests I have encountered in my 50 years in Satanism, or how many “Lady this or thats”… Red Mages (whatever the hell they are), etc., who can scarcely spell the grand grimoires that claim to have mastered. But they all want that respect and recognition that they feel they are entitled to because, well… they’ve got the book, so obviously, they’re qualified!
Take The Church of Satan, for example. I used to tell people that if they called the Black House and got to talk to a Priest, it was an occasion. If they talked to a Magister, it was a god damned holiday! The reason is that titles weren’t just handed out. You had to earn them and show your worth to the organization, and that had to go far beyond buying a black shirt and carrying The Satanic Bible around. A person who simply read The Satanic Bible and decided that he was fully versed in all things Satanic would have been seen as a clown at best. Practical application of satanism… getting somewhere in life… being “your own god,” in being responsible for your own actions and gaining more and more autonomy in the world “out there” because you were moving into positions of authority and becoming financially viable were prerequisites to being a power “IN HERE”.
Look. There’s book learning, and there’s real learning… the kind you get from being punched in the face by a bigger and better boxer. You eventually learn to bob and weave and dodge the fist coming toward you. Experience can be a painful teacher, and if you ask anyone who has EARNED their successes and their respect from others, they all will have a story that will indicate the risks they’ve taken and the pains they have endured to get to where they are. The DIFFERENCE, is that they don’t need to. They seldom find the dolt who will question them and say, “Well why do you deserve so much?” Their actions and their bearing usually answers that question before it is asked. They have the confidence of experience.
The Second Lieutenant who comes into the military straight from the academy of his choice is a professional soldier by virtue of his degree and his Commission, which make him and officer and a gentleman. THEORETICALLY, they can wage war, command troops and make life or death decisions with skills that would make Eisenhower or Patton blush at their own incompetence. Well… theoretically… yeah. But theory doesn’t show you what is going to happen the first time that a bullet whines past your head, or you are dodging incoming mortars or artillery shells and still trying to do your job. A piece of paper only shows that you’ve been shown the theories, but character is shown in how you handle things in real life situations. It’s the wise officer who looks for the weathered old NCO with a few scars on his face to bounce ideas off of… and isn’t offended when that war weathered veteran tells him where problems in his plans may lie.
Whether you get the corner office or a cubicle, you have to show your stuff before others will respect you and THEN things will indeed come your way. Until then, talk little, listen much and don’t demand the things you have not earned. Your day in the sun will come if you deserve it, but there is no free lunch in life. You aren’t entitled to it.
Now go get me a cup of coffee. Sorry… I couldn’t help myself.