It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God- given right to have it.” – Jon Krakauer
This quote brings to mind what is popular in the news this week, the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Names such as Felicity Huffman from Desperate Housewives and Lori Loughlin from Full House, Fuller House and The Hallmark Channel’s movies and shows such as When Calls The Heart, one of my favorite programs are some involved in this. There are around 50 people involved in this fraudulent activity. I’m very disappointed to hear this! I really can, as a parent understand wanting to help our children, giving them every advantage possible to succeed. There is an ethical boundary though that we need to not cross. Doing so, will not teach them the work ethic they need to have on their own and that it is acceptable to cheat the college admissions system.
Other students who have worked hard to be accepted into college see that money alone can buy another student’s way into college. They see others who don’t care, have advantages. It is interesting to me that one of these children helped, claimed that they didn’t care about their education, they only wanted to be at college for sports games and parties. This is a great example of entitlement. “ I’m here to play, but someone else is going to pay!” Unfortunately though, some students may not know what their parents did to make this possible for them.
Some of this fraudulent activity includes paying another person to take an ACT or SAT test for them, to get better results. Some are bribing athletic directors when a student never played a sport and has no intention to play it. Some photoshop pictures of others and some donate money towards a building or project and get a tax benefit from this.
My husband and I chose to go back to college as older adults. We did go to a small 2 yr college right out of high school, but when we saw our need to go back to college, we hoped our children would finish high school , attend and graduate from college at a younger age than we did. We did not want to see them struggle with some issues that we had. We hoped that they would see their need to be disciplined and pursue something good to make their life and the life of their family, better. My husband and I had good reasons for doing what we felt we should do. My husband worked a job often over seventy hours per week and went to college at the same time while being married and had three children. It was difficult for these four years!
Money isn’t the only expectation that some have for their parents and others. It certainly raises the expectation though. Even as adults, when they have left home, there seems to be an expectation, that if they mess up something, mom and dad will just fix it and that they I can do what they want with little to no consequences.
There is also a tendency to believe that when something does go wrong such as a car accident, it’s not their fault or responsibility, it’s always someone else who must take responsibility. An example of this is an adult who owns a car, but doesn’t keep it maintained, has an accident. They didn’t make sure their lights worked such as brake lights so that someone behind them can tell when they are coming to a stop. Someone behind them hits them, but it must be the person behind that is wrong and at fault because “ they weren’t paying attention.” They are responsible as car owners to keep their car working. This is another example of entitlement! Someone else besides myself is responsible.
Also sometimes there is little to no relationship until they are in a tough situation, then all of a sudden mom and dad are supposed to take care of a problem. Many parents want to be available and help! We want to give to our children(and grandchildren), but we want to be of more value than just being a bank or to get them out of trouble.
Several of these stories fit well with the dictionary definition of entitlement. One of these definitions is “ the fact of having a right to something.” Also, “ the amount to which a person has a right” or the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.”
I find it interesting that the opposite of entitlement is gratitude!
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude”
⁃ Brene Brown
People need to be grateful, no matter who their parents are, what money they have and what they can or can’t or will or won’t do for them.
Abraham Lincoln stated, “You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
Honoring people, for example our parents, demonstrates that we are grateful for what we are given, not to what we are entitled. Exodus 20:12 states: “ Honor your father and your mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” ( NLT)
“If this country is ever demoralized, it will come from trying to live without work”
⁃ Abraham Lincoln
It is very unfortunate for those who do work hard, that at times, they don’t have advantages such as going to a college they choose to go to because someone else has bribed and made it possible for some who don’t care, to go.
I felt for many years, that I needed to make life “ easier” for our kids, so I did many things for them, instead of letting them learn some of these things on their own, I allowed them more privileges and have more material items than I had when I was young. Now that our kids are older, I’ve reflected a lot and noticed changes that are better for them in the long run. It is very difficult at times because of my personality and background. I want to encourage other parents in particular and people in general, to consider what is best for others.
A better perspective is found in this quote:
“ Instead of communicating “ I love you, so let me make life easy for you,” I decided that my message needed to be something more along these lines: “ I love you. I believe in you. I know what you’re capable of. So I’m going to make you work.”
Kay Wills Wyma