Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Entitlement Mentality.

What a couple of weeks it's been.  The "Occupy" movement, Joe Paterno/Penn State, Hummon Cain, etc.  My head hurts.

However, I noticed a common thread running through all the news reports, commentators, articles, and blogs.  A variation on one word:  deserve.

"Deserve", by definition, is "to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital".  I'm not sure anyone, anywhere, at any time in the last couple of weeks (or longer) has even glanced at the dictionary.

The "occupiers" say that 1% of the people have the majority of the wealth and that they, the "99-Percent-ers", deserve to have their "fair share".

Joe Paterno, ingloriously ousted as Penn State's head football coach in the midst of an awful child sex-abuse investigation, "deserves" better.

(As an aside, I'm steaming over this.  Bobby Bowden gets fired for losing.  Paterno gets fired for this.  JoePa got the worst deal of the two.  I don't understand.  And my head hurts.)

Herman Cain is accused once twice numerous times of sexual harassment.  Innocent?  Perhaps.  Tainted?  Definitely.  His supporters unequivocally say he doesn't deserve this treatment.

(In Hummon's case it's like wrestling with a skunk.  You might win, but you're still gonna stink.)

We have mixed up our definitions.  Folks are using "deserve" when what they actually mean is "entitled" (same dictionary--I love the Interweb--says that "entitle" means "to give a right" to someone about something).

For instance, the OccuWhiners say they deserve some (or all, I can't tell) of the wealth those awful One Percenters have earned or inherited (or stolen, I can't tell).  What they really mean is that, by virtue of their being alive current position in society, they are entitled to this.  One idiot person said that they had over $35,000 in student loans.  For a degree in puppetry.  I looked, and there are no "Help Wanted" ads for recently graduated puppeteers.  Either it's a very volatile puppet-operators market, or there's no demand at all.  Either way, it sucks to be him.

Anyway, he's part of the movement now because, guess what?  He can't find a job.  Apparently the college's job-placement folks aren't doing their job-placing very well in his case.

My Princess has a Business degree from a well-respected, four-year university.  And the student loans to match.  She's part of an "occupy" movement as well.  She occupies her first part-time job at the Outlet Mall in Dawsonville four or five days a week, before she drives fifteen miles in the opposite direction to "occupy" her other part-time job at a beauty salon for three days a week.

Does she "deserve" better?  Absolutely.  Is she "entitled" to better?  Absolutely NOT.

Several factors contribute to her situation--the economy, her degree, geography, availability. etc.  But, instead of bitching and moaning about her situation in front of the camera,  Two jobs.  And still can't pay everything she owes.

If I'm in the 1%, then I'm 99% sure I'm 100% disgusted with hearing about what all these folks "deserve" every time I turn the TV on or read the news.

A wise man once said that we'd better be glad we don't get what we "deserve".  Or, as far as that goes, what we're "entitled' to. 

I agree.


Jennie said...

You are dear husband. Your ability to articulate what many people are thinking, but not saying out loud... You should be a newspaper columnist!!

Michael Ruffin said...

At first I thought Jennie said "newspaper communist"--but then I thought, "Naaaaaaaaaaaah..."