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Are we "Entitled"?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

There was a story in the Washington Post yesterday about findings published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin regarding young people and their attitude toward the acquisition of material goods. It stated "Compared to previous generations, recent high school graduates are more likely to want lots of money and nice things but less likely to say they are willing to work hard to earn them." The journal called it a "fantasy gap".

Talk about an easy-to-target marketing demographic! Those of us with a few years of experience under our belts have had that particular fantasy smashed. But is it so different with food? Marketers of "magic" weight loss drugs like Fen-Phen and Sensa, of Stacker 3 and Dexatrim know that overweight people want to lose the weight without having to work for it.

We all see people who are raised with money through no effort of their own, and we all see people who are intuitively thin. Those of us without inherited wealth manage just fine if we work hard and make wise choices, and although we may fantasize about big lottery wins, we don't expect to win. It doesn't take many thoughtless swipes of a credit card to put us in a hole, and it doesn't take many doughnuts to put us in a hole. Either hole takes a LOT longer to get out of than it took to get in.

We all know that people aren't automatically entitled to stuff, but we also aren't entitled to thin. Both take work.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great post! I'm forwarding the links to my DH who is a financial whiz! He will like the analogy!
    1858 days ago
    Yes, you are right but as with money it seems that some people just have it, they never had to work that hard for it because they inherited it.
    1868 days ago
    emoticon When I get frustrated that it is taking too long, I need to be reminded that it does take effort to see results.
    1868 days ago
    There were days when I would wonder which one I should stick to -- my budget or my diet. Somehow I couldn't quite manage both.

    It is true that we are not entitled to have anything without the accompanying work that is required.

    I may not like it that I have to work at watching my weight. I do like it, though, that I can derive so much pleasure from different foods. It is a constant balancing act between the two. Give up some of the pleasure of the food and get some benefits in my appearance and my health.

    Everything has a price.
    1868 days ago
    Two for two. I saw your "gun to the head" blog first, which was a wonderful metaphor. Made me want to read more of what you have written and this blog about entitlement is also an excellent metaphor. So true.
    1869 days ago
    What a great blog Nell.
    1869 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Well said, and very insightful! emoticon Just look at our national debt - mostly entitlement! Look at how much of that was taken and squandered . . .
    1869 days ago
    emoticon blog Nell!
    1869 days ago
    Thanks once again, Nell.

    Perhaps I'll take out my credit card when tempted to buy and bring home "foolish food". Associating the two might sound an alarm bell. I never buy groceries with a credit card.

    Re the "young people/entitlement" discussion: many of those are spoiled by parents who want to live vicariously through their children...they want to remain forever young themselves.

    When I went to secretarial school (I know: those places don't exist anymore), I worked at a department store half days and went to school the other half. I paid for my school plus my father asked me to start paying rent. It wasn't much but...I was the only one in the family he asked to do this. Was I resentful? NO! It made me feel special. I somehow understood that he had high hopes for me to rise above family issues. Instead of resentment, it's possible to have gratitude. translate that into being grateful for and looking after myself better!
    1870 days ago
    Very well stated!
    1870 days ago
    What a great blog. Thank you for giving me the kick I needed to get moving. I have to earn it, I have to work for what I want...I know this is my finances so I should know this in my journey.
    1870 days ago
    1870 days ago
    Terrific blog, great comparison. I'm not entitled to thin, and I'll remember that. It takes work.
    1870 days ago
    Great insight! emoticon
    1870 days ago
    This is so true. The younger generation doesn't want to work for anything anymore. It's really sad and it will get worse. Thanks for the reminder.
    1870 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    That gen 'tude has been deep for about 10 years now. I like how you built a solid analogy and totally agree!
    1870 days ago
    You are absolutely on target. I worked hard, planned for the future and did without in order to get to the point where I am secure. I will say that my children have done the same and I am proud of them for that. I wish there was an easy way to stay thin but there isn't without hard work and dedication. I never thought about them as being similar but I guess they really are.
    1870 days ago
    You are pretty smart to recognize the similiarities between the study and our own weight loss journey. When I was young I was definitely skinny entitled. My parents had to beg me to eat and try new foods and when I got to college I couldn't eat when I got stressed. That all changed when I had my kids. My physiology chnged ratically and I've had to work just as hard to get and stay thin as everyone else.

    Entitlement is ephemeral so we all better learn how to work hard and commit to the long haul or stay fat and broke.
    1870 days ago
    1870 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/8/2013 1:33:02 PM
    Those stats have been true of every poll they've taken since the 1970s.
    1870 days ago
    Excellent topic. I shy away from entitled people. "Life owes me because....." kind of people.

    It is not just young people who feel entitled. I have a father-in-law who is 90 and a mother who is 81 who both feel entitled. In their minds, everyone owes them. Even age does not give us an automatic pass in life.

    Gratitude and humility are the attractive qualities that I gravitate towards.

    Thank you for highlighting this for us all.
    1870 days ago
    Many people need to learn that for every entitlement there is a responsiblity. Not knowing and believing in that has caused much harm to society.
    1870 days ago
  • -RUBIES-
    Great blog! So true.

    1870 days ago
    hard work will do it
    1870 days ago
    Work and commitment...very true.
    1870 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Nell, I have only one word for this blog....OUTSTANDING! Thanks for being out there enough that you speak on things that NEED to be said! emoticon emoticon
    1871 days ago
    Good post. Refreshing to read.
    1871 days ago
    Isn't "mastery" one of the fundamental needs of humans? Challenging work is a reward by itself! So sad for people who want things without the joy of earning them. I often feel the same way about my sisters-in-law (I have three) who can eat anything (and do) without gaining weight. They simply don't understand that not everyone is built this way. Of course, now that they're getting older, they're also reaping the "rewards" of an unhealthy eating lifestyle. So even if it doesn't show on the outside, it shows up in the end.
    1871 days ago
    Again you knocked it out of the park. IT is heck getting out of both the donut hole and the credit card hole....:)
    In case you are wondering, this is me struggling with both at the same time...
    1871 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/8/2013 10:36:58 AM
    True that.
    1871 days ago
    Well said, and well written! Thank you!
    1871 days ago
    It seems to be an entitlement society. It's like living on a different planet.
    1871 days ago
    Wow, powerful message!
    1871 days ago
  • --KREN
    After 25 years in the criminal justice system, my biggest prejudice is people who don't consider "work" as part of life.

    I interviewed so many who didn't have a job, had never had a job, and had no plans to have a job!

    Disgusting to me. There are so many benefits, psychologically and emotionally from working and so much satisfaction and life experience to be gained from it.

    Work Ethic should be taught in grade school, along with Anger Management!

    1871 days ago
    Bravo, Nell! I've been working over 50 years now, without a break. Obviously, I don't feel entitled to anything.
    1871 days ago
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