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?

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