Entitlement: that’s life!

WEDNESDAY:

Spent: 99p, loaf of bread
Applications: 3
Freelance leads: 1
Tears silently shed: about a million – our SMB movie night film was The Notebook

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THURSDAY:

IMG_1161

Spent: £0
Applications: 3

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I’ve been thinking a lot about entitlement this week. Society teaches us that we are right to feel a sense of entitlement in our every day life. Everyone is equal and entitled to equal treatment. Kid’s know that a teacher is not entitled to touch them, to manhandle them out of the room because they are entitled to their personal space. People walk four abreast down the pavement because they are entitled to walk however they please. The thousands of people being made redundant every day in this recession are fighting their corners because they are entitled to what is stated is in their contracts (ahem).

A problem arises from this sense of entitlement because a society dedicated to knowing our rights coincides with a society in which a sense of entitlement is, by nature, selfish. Balancing your own rights with the effect they have on others is a delicate and difficult process. It is important to stand up for ourselves and fight for what we’re entitled to, but in my opinion, not at the expense of others. Kids who are entitled to their personal space must take into account that their teachers are entitled to be free from abuse. People who walk four abreast down the street must consider that that solitary woman coming in the opposite direction is entitled to her little walkway past without having to step into oncoming traffic. If we are entitled, so are all those around us. And if we wish our rights to be respected, well, we’ve gotta respect other people’s rights too!

If I’m low anyway, I find that bad manners have an enormous impact on my state of mind. Stepping into oncoming traffic on my way to Soroptimists on Tuesday set me on the verge of tears – how dare these people fail to acknowledge my right to personal safety? My problem is that I often find it difficult to see selfishness as seperate to self-involvedness – I see people as having acted selfishly where actually, they simply didn’t think. For a long time I let people I knew, people I loved, get away with things by affording them this excuse. But a little voice in the back of my head says that it is no excuse at all – that we should be capable of thinkig of those around us, that our innate selfishness should be something we all override.

Of course, if recent events have taught me anything about myself it is that I am incredibly naive, and that no matter how I shout or cry or stamp my feet, the way the world should be is not the way that it is. Still, I’m not yet willing to admit defeat and accept that. I’m not willing to let “the way of the world” or “real life” outweigh what is right.

The universe may have me down, but I’m not yet out!

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8 thoughts on “Entitlement: that’s life!

  1. Quick panic, What thoughtless act have I committed ?? Or am I being paranoid! (See where you get it from!)

    Whatever I / we have done – Sorry!
    Love you loads, Mumxxx

  2. Oh, goodness, I feel like I could’ve written those last two paragraphs about myself! I’m exactly the same, but I don’t even have the excuse of having to be feeling low – I’m incredibly sensitive to perceived bad manners/selfishness ALL the time!

    Well done for getting the applications out. I remember when I was made redundant, the couple of weeks I had to spend still working at the place were the hardest of all – in fact it was almost unbearable, so I really feel for you right now. Hopefully once you’re finished up with work and able to concentrate on finding something else, you’ll feel at least a little bit better. x

    • Thanks hon. I think the most important thing for me is to make sure I’m doing everything I can too get re-employed – to keep busy and feel on top of it. Not being able to control things while I was still at work was made easier by feeling in control of applying for things. Now just to face finding something new. x

  3. In a nutshell, we’re taught about our rights but not the responsibilites that come along with those rights. I swear the European Convention of Human Rights has a lot to answer for!

    I’ve always thought that the phrase ‘well that’s just the way it is’ is the vastest cop-out. Just because things ARE that way, doesn’t mean that they SHOULD be. Recognising that is the first step to changing things for the better. If that’s naive, then long live naivete – that’s what I say.

  4. I completely hate it when groups of people take over the footpath. I used to do what you do and step into the road to pass them, but these days I’m so annoyed by it that I stop walking. Instead I stand still and let them move round me.

    Only once has anyone said anything, and that was a mouthy teenage girl who told me to watch where I “was fvcking going”. I told her I was watching, and that was why I wasn’t going to step into traffic to get round her.

    I doubt it’s changed her thoughts about her rights to walk wherever she wants to, but it briefly made me feel better.

    • See, I’m so scared someone will start like that if I don’t step aside. I’ve tried it a few times – refusing to step off the pavement, and have been shoulder barged and given funny looks. I end up more frustrated rather than feeling better. It’s like when I hold a door for someone and shout “you’re welcome” when they don’t thank me. I just end up feeling petty. 😦

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