Welcome back to the slap-me-upside-the-head-with-the-ugly-truth series...err...I mean, Entitlement in US, as in you and me, series. In a couple weeks, I'll direct the series toward raising grateful children. But before we can look outwards, I think it's vital to take a good, hard, deep look inwards. Because we are the ungrateful, entitled ones raising ungrateful, entitled children. (Ouch. Too early in the morning for such harsh words?).
Ever since I read THE book (Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World), it is all I can think about: the materialism. The need for us to fit in, to be one of the crowd, to keep up with the Joneses.
But here's the the thing, y'all: we live in the U.S. of A. And, as the author so blantantly points out,
The way we live here is unlike how the majority of the world lives.
Here is when I share an ugly, but true, story about myself:
Quick fact about moi: I try to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day. I will never forget, last year, while standing in the kitchen with my hub and filling up my water bottle yet again with clean, cold, refreshing water yet again by simply lifting a faucet handle yet again and complaining, "I am so tired of drinking so much water." As soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized how awful they sounded. And my hub did, too, and thankfully, he called me out on it, saying something to the effect of, "Oh, I'm sorry. It must be hard having so much clean water to drink." Nail.On.The.Head.
There are people in this world, OUR world, who walk miles a day for clean water, who have to boil water in able to consume it, who don't take every last drop of water for granted.
Yet, here I was, my bratty self, complaining about having this necessity at my fingertips and in great abundance.
Indeed, a passage from the book, after the author served as a missionary in a third-world country, highlights our greed and wealth, which we don't even realize we are drowning in:
Entitlement didn't start with my kids. It began with me. I entitled them because I was entitled. ...I saw just how big the world was...only [the people I was serving] didn't seem to be entitled to anything, not even enough food for the day or clean water to drink.
Do you have a pantry stocked with food? Do you have clean water that you use multiple times daily to drink, bathe in, wash your hands/teeth/face with, cook with, clean with? You are WEALTHY, BLESSED, and LUCKY.
And again, y'all: we live in the U.S. of A., where
We have the time and money to focus and care deeply about things that really don't matter.
Stuff is stuff. It doesn't matter. Yet, our American culture, our "get what we want, when we want it" attitude, would have us believe otherwise. In fact,
The American Dream and the pursuit of happiness have morphed from a quest for general contentment to the idea that you must be happy at all times and in every way.
How accurate is this? Do we not shop for the latest trends, seek out what our neighbor has, take for granted what we already have, when others in the world, heck even down the road, would give just about anything for such not-a-care-in-the-world comforts that surround us?
You guys? Here's the harsh reality:
You guys? Here's the harsh reality:
We are rich in STUFF. We are rich in STUFF that we think, in the moment, is actually important. But it's not important. It's STUFF. At the end of our lives, the STUFF won't matter. The people will.
So. All that said, how do we fix it? What can we do to start to shatter the entitlement wall we all hide behind (while wallowing over the fact that our neighbor's wall is better than ours)?
Come back next Monday, and all will be explained. :) See you then!