Entitlement. What does it mean to you? What are you entitled to in this life? Love? Money? Opportunity? Health? Freedom? Entitlement refers to one’s belief in inherently deserving privileges or special treatment sometimes without merit. Individuals may even believe they have the right to deny or have access to something irrespective of others’ needs often selfishly intruding, inconveniencing and even violating recognized social norms of decency (showing respect, appreciation, consideration, or gratitude). Entitlements are also, however, an indication of our individual and collective values especially in instances where self interest and the greater good for humanity intersect. For the purpose of this blog, I am defining the word “entanglements” to mean “relationships” (whether personal or not) as recently coined by actress Jada Pinkett Smith during one of her Red Table Talk Podcasts. In 2020, issues related to our “entitled entanglements” have been “unveiled” not simply as as a generational topic of discussion reserved for the young but as a collective issue regardless of race, age and gender.
We all want the “good life” filled with freedom, opportunity and wealth for ourselves, family and friends. We also want to be understood. But, no one is guaranteed complete abundance in every area of life nor is it accomplished in isolation. It is sometimes earned through collaboration with hard work, energy and effort. Yet, one cannot forget that it is also a “gift” and blessing as well especially since we often receive things without deserving them. To not understand this important point is to appear from the outside as egotistical, irrational, immature, foolish or even “ungrateful.” Entanglements, with entitled individuals, are often fraught with strife as all parties struggle over expectations and boundaries.
We have to accept that humans have different needs, expectations and opinions without believing that our way is the only way or that we have the right to control another’s thoughts and actions. Free will, just like authentic love, demands freedom without guilt, bullying or entitlement. Thinking that we have the right to dictate what others give or not is crossing a line of no return. It is equivalent to a fundamental soul violation fostering unhealthy relationship dynamics. We do have the right, however, to manage ourselves in every area warranted (CEO of you). But – – we also share core obligations to others for the sake of our collective survival. This human requirement is fundamental, quite serious and much more important than material possessions, parking spaces, wearing a mask or not, etc. Whatever way this statement resonates for you says a lot about who you are and what you value.
I’m not sure where you all stand on this issue but 2020 is making us all evaluate and possibly change our understanding of what we’re entitled. It has been painful for some and surprising to others as many hidden egotistical or narcissistic secrets have been “unveiled” about human nature. All I know is that our sense of “deservedness” is being adjusted into balance as a more harmonious frequency of humility and gratefulness is being ushered into existence.