The American Society breeds the entitlement complex. Every generation says, "I want my children to have better than I did." This is a noble statement, but it is also a misguided statement in many ways.
Mama and Daddy are always there for me -- they take care of my children (for free). If my car is in the shop, they give up theirs for me to use. They sacrifice themselves for me a 40 year old adult woman. But, I do NOT take it for granted, I do my best NOT to impose, I pay for their cell phone, I do for them also.
To have better than I did usually refers to things, toys, privileges, money, houses, status. But, it should mean to have a better understanding of life, to have a knowledge of how to manage themselves in society, to balance a checkbook, to have responsibilities, to teach them to grow up. I find it a whole lot easier with my three to give them things than to give them the moral ideals needed to accept responsibility. It is a daily effort.
My grandfather raised four children through the depression. He worked for less than $1.00 a day. His children love his memory dearly. He woke before the sun rose, he literally slaved until sundown. He did not use the excuse of I can't because I need to spend a lot of time with my children in the evenings. He instilled a better life in their minds, they learned his work ethic.
My Daddy has always worked, he worked for years and years in a factory that he hated. But, even though he hated it he knew his responsibility was to his family, his wife and his children to provide for them. We never went hungry, we never were cold or left in the dark. My father would get up early and feed animals, do chores before leaving for work. When he got home he worked he gardened, he mowed, he fixed the vehicles. Yes, he was an alcoholic but no substance abuse EVER caused us to do without.
Our mother worked hard too, she worked, she got up early straightened up the house, and when we got home she cooked us a meal, cleaned the kitchen, helped us with our homework. They gave us what their parents didn't give them in the way of physical things. We now start to see the entitlement complex starting in society.
I am a generation older than my husband. My sister is a generation older than I. My sister is ashamed to ask Mama and Daddy for help. She feels guilty when she borrows and works hard to repay her debts. I ask for help as a last resort to the point of overextending myself on credit. Sis and I get up every morning, many times in pain, and go to work yet in my case -- I don't spend a penny on ME. She until recently did NOT put herself first. But my husbands generation -- says, Mine, ME, ME, ME, ME. He works hard NOW, but it took him until the age of 30 to hold a steady job. He gets a raise and comments -- well you budgeted on my old salary, so I get the rest? NO.
As parents, adults, a family -- the money doesn't belong to the individual, it belongs to the family. As Dave Ramsey says, "You take care of the four walls first." This is the house, the utilities, the food, the necessities. As adults we don't expect others to take care of us. But, I have seen the entitled generation do so many things that are ungodly and immoral when it comes to money management and entitlement. "Sticking it to the man."
- I worked at a University and students would ask how much extra financial aid can I get, I want to buy a car. The government would pay for their child care. They would play the game.
- I paid full price for duplex rent, the girl next door was on Section 8 and her boyfriend lived with her making twice as much money as I. They were proud of their "beating the system."
- I know people who get on disability and still work jobs on the side, people who cheat the taxpayers.
- My husband works with a guy who buys people's food stamp money for .50 cents on the dollar. I spend $400 a month for a family of five on groceries and here are people cheating the government. My kids eat hotdogs and bologna, I make $50k a year and the abusers of the system eat steaks.
- A friend of my husband (before the bankruptcy law changed) made the comment that he was going to get all of the credit cards that he could and run them up...then just file bankruptcy on them. Smart huh? NO.
- My husband used to only want to work for cash, to avoid a 1099, he didn't want to give any of the money to the government, he wanted it ALL.
- My husband has another friend that is an alcoholic, he has two children and another on the way, he lives with his mom and dad. He can't hold a job. He expects his parents to bail him out. He expects his mom to change her schedule to watch his kids. He expects them to cater to his needs and to heck with his parents needs.
To our youth -- we must remember to teach them and they must remember the following:
The government owes us NOTHING. Our parents owe us NOTHING. But we OWE it to ourselves and our ancestors legacy, we OWE it to our children to stand on our own feet, to be accountable for our own actions, to grow up, and we OWE it to our Lord who expects us to be wise stewards of those talents that he has given to us. It is time to stop feeling as though you are entitled and to take care of your responsibilities.
In other words -- you got yourself in this mess -- now get yourself out of it.