Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entitlements, and Expectations.

The news is filled with the price of oil, which may go up because of the Middle East crisis. And the concern over who will be ruling these country's and if we can believe that they will consider our interests, as well as theirs. It seems like survival of the fittest, or all out "war" (using the term metphorically). Should these people have a right to "free themselves" from oppressive government?

Then the news on the housing market going down again. Where will it leave those that can't sell their house to move to take their new job? How will they afford another place to live? And will those that took advantage of loans given to those that had not proved their responsibility, rest on the shoulders of us all? And why? Because some "do-gooder" thought that a large stip-end might help the less fortunate, as always the case with "do-gooders". Does such an attitude promote entitlement mentality? Do the poor not have a right of existence, just as the politically oppressed in the Middle East?

Entitlement means that one can expect something. Entitlement means that someone else will give you whatever it is you want because you deserve it. Why would anyone think they deserve somethigt for nothing? But, then I had to quesiton myself.

I grew up with my grandfather. He has written me into his will. And even though I have not felt that I deserved it, as I was not his natural child. In fact, I wasn't even his natural grandchild. I had always been grateful to him for including me. But, this is just the problem. His inclusion of me is not based on a "felt earning of RIGHT".  My "place" in the family was tenuous, or at least that was what I "felt". Not that he has given me that impression. No, he has always welcomed me.

But, recently I was having a conversation with a couple of childhood friends, expressing my fear of being excluded and rejected by others because of my place in my grandfather's heart. They assured me that I was fearing something that I had a "right" to, as I had grown up with him.

Then, I started thinking about my feelings, and I found that I really do feel entitled, not to more, but to equal treatment, because I had a place in his home. And my constant struggle to believe that I was just as entitled and then battle with the feelings of not "being worthy or valued enough" to have equal treatment, in speciific instances.

Why do humans feel entitled? Is it our society? Should humans feel entitled to fair and equal treatment? . Where is self-responsibility and a sense that what one earns, one deserves? Don't most people believe that work will equal a salary? And just what is a "just and fair" wage?

Union discussions in Wisconsin and those that make demands that their employer cannot meet are making Wisconsin and it citizens feel resentful and/or entitled, but to different things, because there is different needs. The children and parents want the teachers to teach, while the teachers have to make their 'ends" meet and make their jobs and time worthwhile with negotiated pay. What is one to think or do? Isn't Indiana's "right to work" a fair policy? Or is there to be some standardization to equalize the playing field where no one can have more than another....

Money and its meaning is a complex issue. One thing is for sure, one cannot take money lightly, because money signifies something of value. Entitlements must have to do with expectations. But, just because someone has expectations, doesn't mean that everyone will agree that those expectations are valid ones. Ones that need to be considered as "just' or fair.

 TheTea Partiers are tired of the taxpayer picking up the tab for items that were not represented by their representatives on the campaign trail. The taxpayer feels entitled to equal representation as corporate interests or the Union bosses seem to have a special place at the table to our Representatives. The expectation in our society that we will not be politically oppressed, because of some "Big Whig" taking over and demanding that our hard-earned money be their "pork barrell"!

I think false expectations should be faced, not supported and encouraged, otherwise we enable the poor in their state and their expectations of a "hand-out". I don't think this is good for society or for the poor. And I think that political oppression needs accountability to "the people". Otherwise, those that abuse power will trample our expectations of a fair and just system under their feet and they won't even look back!

Economic and political justice are on the forefront of headline news. Both are volitile issues that must be addressed if the world is not to "go up in smoke" with another atomic bomb.

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