A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to someone how I wanted more than 2 weeks of vacation from my job. I wanted more flexibility so I could help on youth group trips and still participate in family trips throughout the year.
This individual who knows me well was like, “I think that’s about the most millennial thing I’ve ever heard you say!”
Now, I know more vacation sounds very millennial of me to want, but I’m not entitled about it. I know that it takes a lot of work and preparation to create that kind of flexibility in my life.
Which brought up an excellent topic for this blog.
Entitlement: What is it?
Millennials are notorious for being the “entitled generation.” The word “Entitled” is what older generations tend to use when describing bratty and lazy youngsters.
“He thinks he’s entitled to free college. In my day, we had to work hard and pay for it ourselves!”
Being a millennial myself, I understand the frustration with the thinking of my generation. I suppose you could call me an old soul. I’m annoyed when someone says they “deserve” something great when they’re entirely average.
As a millennial, I’m here to say something:
Entitlement isn’t a real thing. At least not yet.
Entitlement is, however, a perceived thing.
Let me explain.
You don’t deserve anything.
Entitlement is real but only when you actually do something great. Aside from that, it’s entirely a perception of anyone who thinks they deserve anything.
I am not entitled to anything. I’m not entitled to a good job because I have an engineering degree. I’m not entitled to free education because I live in America and the student loan program is broken. I’m not entitled to a leadership position just because I’ve worked somewhere for ten years. I’m not entitled to salvation from hell because of good things I’ve done.
To start, you don’t deserve anything either. In America, you get life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s about it.
Now, I’m a sucker for free stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll spend more money in fuel to get free food than what it’s actually worth. However, the perception that we should be given things for free is ludicrous.
I am here to call out those who say they are entitled.
You’re ruining my generation.
You may think you’re entitled, but you aren’t.
Take responsibility and earn it.
You don’t deserve your family’s money. You don’t deserve the same size house as your parents because they’ve been working 30 years longer than you.
The way to get past this entitlement mentality is to work. Take responsibility for your life. Work hard at your job so you can provide value to your employer. Make something great that other people want and sell it. No one’s going to give you anything just because you think you’re different.
No one’s going to read this blog just because I like to write it. I have to earn readership.
You’re only entitled to what you’ve earned, so take responsibility for your life and go earn something.
And please Don’t play the victim.
When you play the victim, you rob yourself of your own dignity because you create an excuse for failure.
One of the simplest and yet profound things I have read was from a book called Building a Storybrand. In it, author Donald Miller made note of the victim in every story. He pointed out that heroes change because they have to. Victims don’t change at all. They only wait to be rescued.
Is that who you want to be? Are you merely waiting to be rescued?
There is hope for millennials!
Millennials are notoriously known for being the entitled generation and I don’t like it. In fact, I see a lot of hope for our generation. The majority of the millennials I know are go-getters. They don’t expect something solely because of their age, color, or beliefs. They know they have to work hard. They don’t make excuses. There is a lot to be hopeful about.
Yeah, I want more vacation. I want a perfect job that’s flexible and fun. But I’m not entitled about it. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. It takes a long time of hard work to create that kind of job for myself. But I’m willing to put in the time and effort. I’m willing to take responsibility for that dream.
How about you?