Appreciation vs. Entitlement (Old Post from Bad Blog Site)

[I was on a bad blog site for a year and hardly anyone saw my stuff, so occasionally I will be reposting old posts that are not necessarily topical or relevant, but still interesting to me.]

There is no whitewashing this. This is going to be a preachy post. But first a little backstory.

I was raised, fairly well off. Not rich by any means, but we had a nice home in a nice part of a suburb. We never seemingly wanted for anything. My mother was divorced when she expected to be a stay at home mom and was thrust into the workforce. Turning my sister and me into "latchkey kids" We rode the bus or our bikes or grabbed carpools. But our mother was always struggling to give us everything she could. And we were aware of this. Many kids who lived like us had no cares at all. They fought with their parents and siblings. Begged for what they wanted and usually got it. We begged also. But we got hand me downs and some things we wanted. I think my mother knew instinctually that we would probably forget in a day or two.

And we were not bad kids overall. My sister and I hardly ever fought. We very rarely fought with our mother. I remember accidentally slamming my door once in frustration, and I quickly opened it and apologized, because I had not meant to do it. Maybe I had, but I still would have apologized. And my mother was always fair with discipline. I received my fair share of spankings.  But I also knew I deserved every one of them and it hurt my mother to do it as well. She did the best she could and I did not.  I was very aware every time I did something wrong that I was liable to get a spanking for it.

We also did not have real curfews. We were expected home when the street lights turned on when we were younger, but as we got older she just wanted to know we were okay and when we would be home. Did we abuse this and stay out all night? No. Because she engendered that trust into us.

My mother, to this day, hold regrets about our upbringing. She wanted to do more for us, but could not. And we have told her again and again that we love who we turned out o be and that we acknowledge that she did everything she could for us. And we appreciate everything she does for us still.

And that is where this post really starts. Appreciation. From my mother and later, others in my life I learned how to appreciate everything that came into my world. Art, beauty, people, kindness, even rage and hate, and frustration. Even the assholes in my life taught me things. Patience or how to avoid them.

Also, it made me see those who feel themselves to be entitled. These people are poison. There is no way to sugar coat it. they will insinuate themselves into their lives and take what they want because they see it as their right.

Some would argue that there are no real laws or morals. Only creations of our species. But what they fail to see is that their own entitlement is a creation of the said same species. You cannot have one without the other.

When my wife and I are at the Huntington Library and Gardens, we see examples of this every time we go. A beautiful place, and you find litter in the plants. Bottles, diapers, and other disgusting examples of humans presence. I pick a lot of this up. I see it as my responsibility for being allowed to be there. We pay for a higher level of membership than most. This gives us early access on weekends. 8am before it opens at 1030am. So when I see this trash, I know who did it. I see them walk around with their attitudes held high talking about what they would do with the land that is there. There is no appreciation in their words for the beauty of the place.  Only an entitled sense of being there because they paid to be there and therefore have the right to behave a certain way.

Lack of appreciation in humans leads to what we see every day in the news. Wars, poor, health issues, education. When you stop appreciating the world and everything it has in it, including people, you start being selfish about the world. You think you deserve something simply because you are here. When in fact, you deserve nothing, but you owe everything.

But That's Just Me...Walking My Mind

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