Good Morning! I’m sure you’ve noticed the sense of entitlement of the average person at your job, at the next table in your favorite restaurant, or even walking down the street as you over hear conversations. I’ve certainly noticed and Whoopi Goldberg even wrote a book about how courtesy and decorum have taken a back seat.
Whoopi, it’s not just you. I’ve noticed that people are entitled, at times rude, and concerned with their own agenda despite who it may negatively affect. After asking questions like, “Is it just me?” or “WTF is wrong with people!?”, I may have found an answer (and a solution?). I can’t speak for other countries, but here in America the concept of Manifest Destiny never died, it has just changed focus over the years. As taken from Wikipedia… “In the 19th century, Manifest Destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that American settlers were destined to expand throughout the continent. [One of the] basic themes to Manifest Destiny: The special virtues of the American people and their institutions. Historian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example … generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven”.” Yes, that’s right, the murder of indigenous people in the 19th Century as settlers explored this country was born out of what they thought to be a God-given right to do so. There are no more settlers that seek to proselytize or ostracize natives. We [Americans] no longer apply the concept of a God-given right to settling this land as our own. But, many of us confuse the concept of rights with the misguided ideology that we’re owed something.
When we pay attention to the language of self-entitlement, some of the Manifest Destiny ideals appear. How many times have you heard someone confuse their right with their privilege? There was a police standoff in my neighborhood. First of all, I always thought people in movies were dummies for standing under falling debris to watch Superman fight the villain. Run for your lives, dumb bunnies! Turns out, people do that shit in real life! I walked past a police standoff. I saw two humans walking in the opposite direction and I suggested that they find an alternate route. “You should go around that way, the police have rifles out!” One human responded, “What’s going on!?” I said, “Don’t know, don’t care. They have rifles out.” The human’s companion said, “I wonder what’s going on!?” as they continued to walk towards the police standoff and ignoring my suggestion to stay out of harm’s way. I spoke louder, “What difference does it make? They. Have. Rifles. Out.” At that point, I kept on walking and just left them to the will of Darwinism. Later that day, I over heard another pair of humans talking. Apparently, they were upset that the police weren’t telling them anything about the standoff. Civilians wanted to know what crime the man had committed and why the police felt the need to point their rifles at him. When the police didn’t respond with details, some civilians became upset. I heard one of them say, “But, this is our neighborhood! We have a right to know!” Actually, you don’t have a right to receive information on an ongoing police investigation. The fact that you bought an overpriced house around the corner entitles you to fuck all. No police officer, in any city, will (nor should they) give details of an ongoing investigation to a civilian. We’re talking about Police Academy basics. It is not a right to have such information. If you have questions for cops, don’t talk shit on social media, take some classes with the Oakland PD to expand your mind.
To register for the Oakland Police Citizen Police Academy request an application by contacting Ana Martinez @ firstname.lastname@example.org (510) 986-2715 Classes include: Organization of the Oakland Police Department; OPD Dispatch T our; Criminal Investigations; Laws of Arrest; Gangs and Narcotics; Crime Lab Tour; Community Policing; The future of the OPD. [This information was current as of March, 2015.]
Is it just me, or does everyone feel as if they’re owed something when life doesn’t go as planned? Not long ago, there were two fires at separate buildings surrounding my gym. One of the regulars was about to leave, so I gave her a heads up. “Because of those building fires, the streets are blocked off and they aren’t letting anyone out of the garage.” She gave me an indignant look and replied, “They’re going to pay for my extra parking time in the garage!” I replied with head-leaned-to-the-side brand of muted confusion. She stormed off and I was left to wonder… Who were the they to whom she referred? Were the arsonists going to pay for her extended garage parking? Perhaps the firefighters owed her the money? Wait, I know, it was her God-given right to be compensated for her mild inconvenience! Manifest Destiny, Bitches! Pay me for doing your job as a first-responder and saving lives! WTF!?
One of the most frequent examples may be the concept of being owed the best experience possible. We live in the future. Movies were made about the year 2015 and we watched them as kids. We live in a time when choices are abundant and businesses, let’s take restaurants for example, are vying for our attention by providing their definition of the best experience. When faced with many choices, we humans have a tendency to become frustrated if we feel as if we’ve chosen poorly. Don’t believe me, read Yelp reviews. Why are some people so hard on places and others are cool about the same experience? Some humans feel it’s their right to be treated extra special. Some humans feel it’s their right to rent a personal servant for the low low price of 20% of their tab. [Please note: There are Servers and there are Servants. You will only find the former in a public restaurant. Also, if you don’t believe in tipping, be brave enough to say that (out loud, to your Server) when you sit down and note the difference in your service experience.] All restaurants want to give great service. Sometimes, that restaurant may fail to meet your standards. It’s a basic communication breakdown. Try as they might, no restaurant owes you good service. (You’re paying for the food and the business overhead, you’re not paying for service. Good service is given based on the pride the employees take in their work and the amount of respect they receive from you.)
Spoiler alert: No one owes you shit. Not now, not ever. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll find peace. “Wait a minute, that jive sucka down the street borrowed $12 from me on Tuesday! He OWES me my $12!” No, he’s agreed to pay you back. If he chooses not to, you just paid $12 to buy him out of his friendship contract. “Bullshit, my wife took 10 years of my life and then left me for her hair dresser. She owes me some alimony.” No, she owes you nothing nor did she take anything. You willingly conceded 10 years of your life. While you may find a lawyer that can get you that alimony, she doesn’t owe you shit.
Here’s how we can save the world. Gather your friends and repeat this oath, loud and proud.
I have been placed on this earth to help humanity in any small way that I can. The world owes me nothing for my gestures of kindness and compassion. I’ll do nothing with an ulterior motive. I will forget all favors that I’ve done for others choosing never to bring them up as a passive suggestion that I am owed reciprocity. I am owed nothing. I am here to help make the lives of those around me better in some way without telling them my mission in this life.