Do you know what is worse than taking things for granted?
Posted Jan 26 2009 5:55pm
In my last blog, I wrote about “The Opposite of Gratitude.” That, of course, is taking things for granted. However, the discussion doesn’t end there. Unfortunately, there is something worse than taking things for granted and I feel it needs to be addressed. That something happens all too often and at a great cost to the perpetrators and to the world around them. That ‘something’ is feeling “entitled.”
The dictionary defines entitle as:
1. grant somebody right: to give somebody the right to have or to do something ( often passive ) 2. give title to something: to assign a title to something such as a book ( usually passive ) 3. award somebody honor: to confer an official position or honor on somebody that brings a particular title with it
The fact is that nobody is automatically entitled to anything. As defined above, being entitled to something, or feeling entitled is never something one can determine for one’s self. Entitlements must be granted from one person or entity to another. Yet, we see people all the time who behave in such a way, that clearly they feel entitled to do so.
We recognize them as:
The person who takes up two parking spaces. The person who cuts in front of others at the check stand. The person who is just down right behaving badly and treating others badly too. The one who takes things because they feel they deserve it….are entitled to it.
Feeling entitled, that sense that “I deserve it” or “I shouldn’t have to”, comes at a great price. That price is that the “Entitled One” is deprived of any and all opportunity to experience gratitude. Think about it. If one feels deserving or entitled to something, why would he be grateful for it?
This absence of gratitude deprives one from appreciating anything and everything. Without appreciation, nothing is of real value and if nothing is of value, if nothing has meaning, then what is its purpose?
This is very different than taking things for granted. Taking things for granted suggests a lack of consideration. Unfortunately, what happens all too often is that we take for granted that which we value dearly. In order to feel entitled or deserving of something, there must be some consideration. What is missing from the consideration is the value or appreciation of the entitlement. There are three keys to waking up happy every day. 1. Be grateful for as much as you can. 2. Take as little for granted as possible. 3. Know that you/we are not entitled to anything. Everything is a gift. Everything is a privilege.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you. If I have made one person’s life a little better today, than my life is better too.
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