I’m tired of hearing the word entitled, to the degree that it’s become hard-wired into my brain that anytime someone says it, I can never really follow what they say next. Conversations kind of go like this:
My nephew is so entitled, he thinks that…
(in my brain) so, after this I need to stop by the supermarket. Did we need onions or did I buy that last time?
And my sister just…
(continuing) I’ll pick up some avocados while I’m at it. Make some guacamole.
Can you believe it?
(shakes head) Oh, yeah, that’s yeah… I gotta get to the supermarket.
Seriously, let’s all just shut up about that shit. Everyone in the world feels entitled to something. I go to work, I feel entitled to get paid.
Oh, you mean they’re entitled to something they don’t deserve. OK.
(as a former Catholic, one of my mottoes is- There is nothing I want less than what I deserve)
But really, we all think that way. Especially when we’re young. How many of you thought you deserved a car when you were sixteen? Yeah, I thought so. Kids today don’t even want cars.
They want I-Phones and FLAT SCREEN TVs!
Yeah, and that shit is cheap. Certainly cheaper than cars. And you know, you can’t really buy TVs that aren’t flat screen anymore, so pretty much old people want the young to not have TVs, and as an American, we’re all pretty much entitled to that. It’s like Article VII of the Constitution.
So I was very glad to skim this article:
My students tend in quite the opposite direction: extremely goal oriented, procedure conscious, and career driven, they often astound me with their calculated, organized approach to selecting courses, securing internships, and planning for their work lives.
I say skim, because I’m a Generation X slacker and boy is that story long. To summarize those parts that I was inspired enough to read, it’s a GenX professor talking about the differences between himself and his students. There’s a lot of crap about how kids don’t listen to music and about how they haven’t watched The Breakfast Club* but the above quote gets to something that I have noticed myself. Kids today work a lot harder than we did. And a lot harder than our parents did.
Probably because they don’t expect to be handed anything, because there is nothing to hand out. When I growing up adults were all “follow your dreams” and that really didn’t work out so well. Generation X pretty much decided to drop out when we figured out that all the great possibilities we thought were waiting for us never materialized, or took a lot more work than we thought they would**. And to add to cruelty, there was a giant internet bubble that made some of the biggest douchebags among us frighteningly rich, for no apparent reason. Most of us are only now figuring out a plan for our lives.
I’m not complaining. Things have always been pretty good for me, beyond a few tough spots. But I look at the young people today and I’m in awe. They know they won’t have it easy, and they’re working hard. I don’t know how others don’t see that, but I guess it’s always been the case that people look at kids today, and get self righteous.
*GOOD. That movie sucks. It’s an totally implausible piece of crap about 5 kids, only two of whom convincingly portray their designated stereotypes (Anthony Michael Hall as a nerd and Ally Sheedy as a weirdo). I like John Hughes, but that movie and that racist pile of shit Sixteen Candles (also featuring date rape!) are fucking awful. Have I mentioned I hate the 80s? I hate the 80s.
**The entitled generation? Oh, that was us. And our parents. Seriously boomers, you didn’t work that hard either. You got born smack in the middle of very favorable historic times- lots of cheap oil and a developed world that had just been smashed to bits. The world was your oyster. Again, not bitter, just saying.