Sunday, August 21, 2011

Entitlements - I am entitled

The prevailing thought in America, if not in the entire world, is “I am right and you are wrong.” “I am being inequitably treated and you are not taking care of me.” “They are the problem and the place of which to hang the blame.” “In essence it is about ‘me’ and ‘they’ are the problem, with everything!”

Here is the "real" truth. Most of us are part of the problem yet only a few are offering real solutions. Most of us want things to work in our favor relative to our gains over whatever others may want or so desperately need. Realistically far too few would put the needs of others above their personal needs and desires. These are normal human responses.

Until we feel the need to go outside our selfish ambitions we will not be overly willing to address the needs of others. Until we accept the fact that if we are not being the solution we are essentially someone’s problem. Most people do not think in these terms. This is what is called the sense of entitlement: You deserve it in spite of anything or reason.

In the field of politics this sense of entitlement has grown far past what is offered to those whom may be suffering, regardless of the reasons why. We have grown into a “me-generation.” We see others with things that we would like to have so we want them for ourselves and feel quite frankly, entitled to have them.

The bottom line is that not all the people will ever have all the things they want or need. Not all are even worthy or earned the right to have things just because they want them. At a point this has to be accepted as a fact of life. In order that one might adjust this feeling of entitlement to a feeling of “can do,” they must be willing to “take the ball and run with it.”

If you want something bad enough don’t wait on a handout. Instead do all you can in order to make that desire happen by the energies you are willing to exert. Rather than waiting and blaming others use your available energies to push your own cart forward.

You become the horse that is pulling your cart rather than waiting on a horse to appear out of nowhere and pull your cart. The chance of this gift-horse coming out of nowhere and working on your behalf is very slim.

If you want to be in control over your fate then take on the personal responsibility. Do the work and reap your own results. Once you do so then you know who is to blame when things are not going well. You also know who to fire or replace if things are not going well. When you are the boss is when true entitlement comes into play. You earn it!

Yes you can blame the President, your political leaders, your mom and dad, your school teachers, your lack of education or opportunity; or you can step up to the plate and take personal responsibility whereby you know who is in charge. It’s your choice!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


How do you handle it when even you knew that you made an obvious mistake? If you were man enough you would step up to the plate and take full responsibility. That may be easy to do in theory, but it would depend upon the mistake and who may know about it.

If you had an affair, even if you knew it was a bad mistake, perhaps you wouldn’t be as forthcoming with your spouse about taking responsibility for your error in judgment. You would hope that incident would somehow get swept under the rug of secrecy.

If you had too much to drink and was the designated driver for the evening perhaps your pride would need to take a back seat to the safety of the people who would be taking a huge risk by riding with you while driving intoxicated.

What if you and your mate had a disagreement about something and it ended up that you were dead wrong and she was right? Would you step up to the plate and admit that you were wrong? That would be the most decent thing to do.

What if you made an investment in something that turned out to be a scam and you lost a substantial amount of money that could have greatly assisted the family, would you step up to the plate and take the responsibility?

Even though your pride seems to be very important to you there are times when integrity, honor, and the well-being of others should count for substantially more. This has a lot to do with the kind of person you are from the core of your being.

If you were a deceitful person from your core you would do deceitful things and hope to get away with your wrongful deeds. If honesty means nothing to you then that is why you would cheat on the one you love and hope to get away with it.

If the well-being of your family is worth taking wild risks at their expense then you don’t really care as much about them as you do about your personal ambitions.

If you are rotten from the core then that is why you would make rotten decisions and operate in ways that strokes your pride and ego over others. Although it is one thing to be this kind of person, but another to be as so while living in denial. Others could be harmed because of your denial to take responsibility.

We all make mistakes; that is part of being human. We can usually recover from making bad or poor decisions when we step up and take responsibility for our actions. On the other hand if you repeat poor decision often that is not a casual stumble, but more of a personality trait.

If you don’t attempt to correct your common problems eventually that sort of behavior becomes your core self. It becomes who you are just as your personality is who you are.

Most young men make more than their share of bad decisions. Some do so willingly out of spite or being mischievous while others because wisdom has not yet set in to do its job. It is said that God protects babies and fools. Well thanks to a forgiving God, and people as well that many of us are still living and recovering from the wild days of our youth.

If you are still a young man just know that there is still hope for you because each day you wake up you have a new opportunity to set a new slate. The person you were yesterday is not necessarily the one that you have to be on a new day, and certainly not the one you need be tomorrow.

Nearly all men began to mature in their mid-to-late thirties: even more by their forties and fifties. If per chance you are still acting foolishly by your fifties then you really have a problem because by then your ways are fairly set. “Ain’t nothing like an old fool!”

If you happen to fall into that category there is still hope, not for you, but for those of whom you may be in contact. The hope is that you will dismiss yourself from them so they would not need to rely upon you, one proven to be highly unreliable.

It is one thing to take yourself down in the gutter, but why take others down with you? Spare your loved ones and allow them a chance to have a decent life without you being an albatross around their neck.

If you really want to be a “real man” check yourself in and get some psychological help so one day you might be able to reconnect with your loved ones and become someone that they can eventually rely upon. But until that day comes, if it comes, stay as far away from them as possible so you don’t take them down in the tullies with you.

Remember, it is one thing to make a few mistakes, but when those become your usual ways they are no longer mistakes, but instead a personality trait. If you were rotten at the core I would expect you to be a cheater, a liar, a thief, and all around bad person. “Real men” don’t behave in that sort of manner.

If you ever make a mistake and know it right away at least admit it to yourself and take full responsibility for your actions so you can at least learn from your faults. Eventually it would be nice if you were to put the welfare of your loved ones over your selfish desires.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What's up with government and leadership?

Judging by what’s going on in my town of Altadena, and even further out into the city, state, and across the entire nation, it appears that people have a very low opinions of those in leadership positions. Could it be that our form of government is no longer working as it was intended?

Nationally and even internationally, it appears that people are revolting against “the status quo” forms of government. Much of this may be because the world is facing very trying financial times. The world’s economy is sick and suffering greatly. Naturally those who are in charge of leadership are blamed for the problems we’re facing.

Take a look at the U.S. government. We are a democracy, which supposedly give the people a large say in how we are governed. But is that really true? Do “the people” actually participate in setting the laws, rules, and boundaries whereby they are governed? Apparently not! If so there would not be this much unrest.

If you had looked ahead in time from the period of the 1960s and 70s you wouldn’t have imagined how little people would be paying attention and getting involved in how they are governed in current times. Back then people rebelled against poor government to the point that the regime that was in control would be ousted if they did a poor job.

However today we are looking at more of a “me generation.” People are not as concerned about society, the public, or even the nation as much as they are about their individual gains. “What’s in it for ME.”

Because of this people in government routinely get away with very poor political decisions, at least until it hits individuals squarely in their pockets. Who cares about the poor, the needy, the helpless, the starving, and the hungry as long as it is not “me” doing the suffering? This is more of the attitude of the common people.

Think about it! If you are not currently in default with your mortgage or behind in paying most of your credit bills, or going hungry at night, just how much can you relate to those who are currently suffering?

If crime is not prevalent in your neighborhood, but instead across town how concerned are you about the crime reports? If things aren’t directly affecting you, just how much worry do you give the situation? Think about it!

We’re living in a “me generation.” Somehow we’ve lost part of the brotherhood that connected us as people. Perhaps this is due in part because current technology allows us to be more independent than in times past.

Currently we can connect to world affairs almost instantaneously concerning things that could alter our prosperity. Rather than going through intermediaries we can access information ourselves and thereby take care of our situations, with no “middle man.”

Since we’re learning to trust in our resources more than we trust in institutional resources we no longer rely upon them. This would include people in government of which we already have a very low opinion… for very good reasons.

There was a day when politicians were considered to be dirty, but we couldn’t prove it so people had to go along with their programs. However in this day everything is more transparent. It is not that leaders prefer it this way, but that current technology makes it possible for us to see things clearly as they are happening.

Where in the recent past political dirt (backdoor politics) was done in the dark, today it is done right out in the light of the media. This technological curve happened so relatively fast that people did not learn how to make the proper adjustments before their dirt was fully exposed to the public. Hence too many government officials were exposed, (caught literally with their pants down) thereby painting a bad picture of people in leadership.

Rather than ordinarily trusting in government and leadership, as was the case in the past, the “new ordinary” is to mistrust them. In fact it would be more rare to find an honest trustworthy politician these days than it would be to find a crooked one, at least by public consensus.

This is why we are becoming more of a “me generation.” We’d rather not trust the idiots we see almost daily in the media making fools of themselves.

While it’s good that we take responsibility for our actions we must be careful not to get overly involved in the “me generation.” Yes, self-preservation is a good thing, but our personal gain at the expense of others is not usually a win/win equation.

If we are to grow as a society we must make sure we do it together, not as one person at the expense of others. We need to tell the people we elected in government that this is not their show, but our lives they are abusing. In addition we need to let them know this by using the only real power we have, and that is in our right to vote them out in the next free elections.

Remember our government officials are elected or otherwise hired to do their jobs by the people and it is for the people that they should be serving. When they do a poor job we must let them know by firing them.