Do we feel that the world owes us? Have we all been sucked into a culture of whiners and not winners? Do we work for what we have, or do we just simply feel if we whine loud enough, that someone else will pay? Have you ever asked yourself, “What does my happiness hinge on?”
I used to work as a Technical Advisor for Apple. While I was there many people came to me with a false sense of entitlement. They felt that a Multi-Billion dollar company should not charge for things like a phone that has been out of warranty for 1092 days, or since they had butter fingers and dropped their tablet down four flights of stairs and completely mucking it up – Apple should foot the bill.
In my position I had the tools to accommodate these requests and because the company had instilled this as a culture and created this expectation, I was required not only to handle these calls, but to appease the customers who felt that they had some gross inconvenience placed on them as well.
Now I am not bitter, because these people were asking Apple to fix something or give them something for free, I am bitter that the company that I worked for had fostered this thinking in their customers – creating this culture of, “The world owes me…”
When I was a kid (I hate “When I was a kid” statements – but bear with me), we did not have it like today. I was picked last in PE, because I was not sports minded, the friends I had were few, but close. I failed at a lot of things, and I was made fun of and picked on as a child. This has in no way hampered me as an Adult, in fact I believe it has strengthened me, and it let me know what are my strengths and what are my weaknesses. Point being – I learned early on that the world does not owe me.
For instance: Even though my father had dreams that I would follow in his footsteps of playing basketball, I have no aptitude for that sport. However, I do have proficiency in Music – which also was something my father was gifted at. If I had kept playing basketball as a child, and even if I would have become a mediocre player (because I don’t think I would have excelled at the sport), I might never have fully explored music. However, even though I failed miserably at basketball, my musicality was something my father could look on with pride. Failure is not a roadblock, it is a stepping stone – a sign post to either stop doing what you are doing and go down a different and much more acceptable road, or try just a little harder: Obviously I took the former.
Today kids are constantly being awarded for stupid things – there are no losers only winners. They are told it is alright, nobody should be hurt, nobody should be left out. Yet there are more suicides in school today than when I was in school. Our kids today aren’t learning from failure.
Something is amiss. My kids personally know there are going to be hard times, and not everyone will like you.
On my twins’ 16th birthday, they invited all of their friends to the birthday party. The day came, and my wife and I spent a lot of time and a lot of money to decorate the house the way the Twins wanted: Only two of my daughter’s friends showed, and none of my son’s friends showed. The only other people that showed up were the twin’s youth pastors and they brought along a kid from the youth group – the amazing thing was – my family had only gone to that church for less than a month.
This was an eye opener for my children, and even though they were upset, I let them know these “friends” they had invited, were not reliable. My twins needed to find better friends, and I believe they now know how to select people to bring into their circle of trust – they learned who to have as friends and who to have as acquaintances.
We have grown into a society of whiners and cry babies that want to have everything handed to us. and we cannot or will not do things for ourselves.
We, as a society, have to remember that nothing is given for free; there is no free lunch and believe it or not we have winners and we have losers. It is alright to fail, because out of the ashes of the failure, come the success of learning.
Sometimes we fall down, sometimes we scrape our knee and sometimes we break something. It is not gravity’s fault, or the ground’s fault, falling happened – because it does – maybe because we are clumsy: The point is – we have to take responsibility, and that is something that this culture won’t accept.