Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Sense of Entitlement: Virtue or Vice?



Sometime or the other, we, the humans, carry the sense of entitlement. Don’t we? We feel that we are entitled for certain things. We get upset or frustrated when things do not happen our way. Or we frustrate others by living a life of entitlement. By doing so, we encroach into the territory of others. We pollute. We hinder. When these happen, it becomes too embarrassing to discuss and clear the air. But not always. That’s why I am writing this post.


Do you feel entitled? Is the sense of entitlement a virtue or vice? I can give you a philosophical answer.

The sense of entitlement is a vice when your goal is to consume or obtain benefits. It is a virtue when you respect the entitlement of the people around you and honor their needs.


Let me step back. The answer to this question is not this simple. It requires deep thinking. Because there are several contexts here. Let me explain some of them.

Kids and Entitlement

Sometimes we find that our kids are struggling with their sense of entitlement. Let me tell you – before you agree or disagree, not all parents are the same. This applies to kids too. However, kids and their sense of entitlement is a subject that gets a nod from 99% of parents. So, how do you know if this is happening in your kids and what do you do?

Read ‘5 Signs Kids are Struggling with Entitlement’ by Kristen Welch at http://wearethatfamily.com/2013/12/5-signs-kids-are-struggling-with-entitlement/.

Male Entitlement

All over the world, most males carry the sense of entitlement over females. They attempt to initiate a conversation. Sometimes this leads to unwelcome transactions. Eve teasing, stalking, cyber bullying, harassment, etc. are rooted in this sense of entitlement.

Read ‘Male Entitlement: A Man’s RIGHT to Holla’ at http://www.singleblackmale.org/2013/12/20/male-entitlement-mans-right-holla/.

Employee Entitlement

Many employees including campus hires or fresh graduates carry the sense of entitlement. This is about the entitlement to work on a strategic project, earn higher wages or avail stock options or enjoy other comforts. Sometimes this is about minimum training, easy appraisals, lots of appreciation and easy work.

Read ‘On Entitlement: Regardless of Your Generation’ by Peter Shankman at http://shankman.com/blog/on-entitlement-regardless-of-your-generation/.

Entitlement and Alcoholism

We sternly believe that we are entitled to drink after a certain age. We think that we have the freedom to choose what we want. And we do what we are not supposed to do. We do what is illegal. We get behind the wheel of our cars and drive. We get in to accidents. That is just an example.

Read ‘Battling the Entitlement Trap’ by Mellissa Smallwood at http://www.themobsociety.com/2013/12/23/battling-entitlement-virus/.

Energy Entitlement

We are entitled to charge our mobile phones free of cost in public places. Will we get to charge our electric vehicles free of cost?

Read ‘Electricity for your EV: A New Entitlement?’ at http://blog.heartland.org/2013/12/electricity-for-your-ev-a-new-entitlement/.

Honored Entitlement

Some of us feel honored or privileged to avail certain benefits. We feel entitled. We need a special treatment. We need special considerations. We feel entitled from generations to generations.

Read ‘The Entitlement Mentality’ by Theresa Omoronyia at http://www.bellanaija.com/2013/11/29/the-entitlement-mentality/.

Call for Action

Let us question ourselves. What are we entitled for? What do we expect from our family, our employer, our community, our government, our country men, and so on? Do we carry the sense of entitlement?

Read ‘A Sense of Entitlement’ by Dan Gallagher at http://www.stfonline.org/2013/12/17/a-sense-of-entitlement/.

Read ‘LETTER: Move Away from Entitlement Mentality’ by Mark Pitzner at http://www.highlinetimes.com/2013/12/23/letters-editor/letter-move-away-entitlement-mentality.

Do you think this post is not good for you because you are 20 something? Or not too old to take it up? I am sure you need to rethink. Read ‘Shedding our Sense of Entitlement’ by Anne Wallem at http://darlingmagazine.org/shedding-our-sense-of-entitlement/.

What is Your Answer?

The Sense of Entitlement: Virtue or Vice? What is your answer?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What Are Your Hobbies?




What Are Your Hobbies?

What a familiar and simple question! We heard this first when we were children. Probably most of us wrote an essay on our hobbies when we were in fifth or sixth grade. That is not the end.

While making friends we are curious about hobbies and ask this question. This question figures in job interviews too. And some resumes do mention about hobbies.

Interesting Responses

So, what are your hobbies? I have asked this question to many people including students and working professionals. Here are some interesting ones.

    “Hm. Watching TV, Reading Newspaper”
                           - Mid-level employee of an IT organization

     “Hobbies? Browsing the Internet, hanging out with my friends”
                          – Someone with an under-graduate degree searching for a job

      “Going to movies, malls, and eating different kinds of food”
                          - Trainee in a large corporate

       “Listening to Music, and playing Cricket”
                        - Final year student of a mid-tier engineering college

       “Watching news channels, and Internet chat”
                       - Customer Relationship Manager of an international bank

        “Hobbies? I don’t have any! I am so busy that I forgot about it long ago.
         I think I need to find some.”
                      - Senior manager of a global services company

Hobby: How Do You Define It?

A hobby is something you do regularly during your spare time. A hobby is something that helps you recharge yourself and leads to some constructive or productive experience. It is more of creation and less of consumption. A hobby cannot lead to destructive or unproductive experience. It cannot result in bad habits.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobby

Is It a Big Deal?

So, what? Do you think watching TV or browsing the Internet or chatting with friends are hobbies? You need to re-read the previous para to answer this question. Try to open up this discussion among your friends. I bet, someone will put you on spot and say, “It is my spare time and what I do during my spare time is my wish. So what is the big deal? I watch TV whenever I find free time! Or I browse. That is what I do!”

Here is a beautiful quote.

“Life is a Practice. You are What You Do Each Day.”

                                                             - Bryant McGill


Let me explain. What you think becomes your actions. Your actions or what you practice become your habits. And you are what you do every day!

Got a Genuine Answer?

Your answer to ‘What are your hobbies?’ tells what you are. It puts you in touch with the type of people you want to be with. It makes a positive impression when you seek admission to higher studies. It impacts your image at work. It tells whether you are an interesting person or not.

When I asked, “What are your hobbies?” to someone, she said, “Listening to Music and reading books.”

I smiled at her and asked, “What kind of music? What books did you read this year? Would you like to share?”

She took a step back, tried to cover up and said, “Hm…Not anything specific in music. I like everything. I haven’t read anything lately. Whenever I read, I read novels.”

She was not confident. Those were not her regular activities. Obviously, her answer was not genuine.

Instead of hearing something like this I would rather hear someone saying, “I have done several things but none of those are my hobbies – but I have decided to pursue reading as a hobby and I have started learning Salsa.”

Pursue One or Two Hobbies

It is not too late! Find hobbies that help you recharge your batteries, help you relax, make you feel positive, and boost your self-esteem. Refine your way of life. Improve the way you manage yourself.

Isn’t it something you can do right now? Or do you want to wait for a new year?

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year 2014!