Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Title Fight: Entitlement vs Action

After reading an article I found over on BlogDogIt, I started thinking about the current state of the union here in the US. While browsing a linked article about the World's Biggest Ship Graveyard (which is a World War II reminder), I stumbled across a thought provoking comment by an unknown person:

"I love all of the comments bragging about how "We" did this and "We" did that, when in fact most if not all of the people here were not around during WWII. Stop taking credit for something your grandpappy did."

Before I could copy down the name, the comment was deleted so I can't provide even a simple attribution. On the surface, the comment might seem cavalier to some. But think about it deeper and it points out a key problem of modern generations: we've forgotten what true hardship is. Especially when considering previous generations.

The Great Generation as they were called, went through horrendous ordeals to ensure we have our freedom now. And our thanks in return is to sometimes be greedy and not appreciate what we do have. Or in other words, we believe we are entitled to a good life. Not so. It only takes two generations on average to forget what hardship is. And with that, sometimes respect to others vanishes too. We become so self centered that we demand things we should be out earning.

I'm not dissing on people to elevate myself in some manner. Instead, what I would like to see is people going for the stretch goals in life. Don't lounge around. Get up and get out there to do things. Whether it's something like grabbing a chisel to make a statue for a public space or simply cleaning the storm drain grate on your street corner so the city workers don't have to do it. Why? Those city workers get paid for it don't they? Well, they can't always be there the moment the drain backs up causing everyone in the hood to ford through a stream of water that isn't a natural wetland. By doing something simply because it's there, you set an example opposite of entitlement. Pick up that nail in the street so someone doesn't get a flat tire. Pull a weed from the sidewalk, not because it's your sidewalk but because it makes the sidewalk look better.

In regards to be proactive, one of my neighbors picks up and discards any trash within arms reach when he walks his dog in the park. Why? Because it's his way of contributing back for being able to use the park in the first place. No entitlement there. You know why? Because he was a marine who learned to respect not only America, but to respect people who have values. He respects himself and for that matter, I have huge respect for his attitudes. If we had more people like that, I can only imagine what might be possible. Think July of 1969 and Neil Armstrong. I remember my dad rounding up all of my siblings and myself so we could witness the culmination of what was only a dream in the past. It taught us, if we put our mind to it, we could overcome difficulty to achieve greatness. To me, it says stretch my limits even if it's hard rather than stick out a hand and ask for something to be given for free. Earn it. Then share some of it with others in whatever manner you think fits your style. That's why I'm an on-the-go sort of person who always has a number of projects in motion. I try hard because I want to make a difference. I don't want to be handed something. I want to give it my all because I saw people like Neil Armstrong working as a team to make history and change the world.

I've pontificated enough. My point is that in many of my recent conversations, the issue of entitlement has come up. We don't need or benefit from that type of thinking wouldn't you agree? This country was built upon diversity and initiative. Let's get some of that fire back in our bellies so we can do more than talk about how "we" walked on the moon or won the war. Let's not talk about someone else's achievements, let's break the mold and do our own reaching.

By the way, if you haven't checked out BlogDogIt, zip on over and take a tour. You won't regret it because the owner, Masodo, digs up some truly unique blog posts and aggregates them together in one spot along with interesting commentary. Not only is the site content interesting, but Mike is a very outgoing person who is enjoyable to talk with. Most sites are either so big you can't reach a human or the site owners typically respond with/to whatever they think will generate their site more traffic. How many times have you received a response that merely says, "Thanks for stopping by," or "Please like me on Facebook," after you wrote up a well thought out comment to an article on the site you were visiting? Not so with BlogDogIt. I've had numerous conversations with Mike about everything from stop motion animation to sewing machines. Now that's what I call diversity. Things like the rich diversity of content I find there are what make me think, question and dive deeper into investigations are at the core of learning and are exactly what I welcome from life.