We All Suffer From Entitlement
“These students suffer from entitlement.”
I remember the first time I heard a colleague say that our students are entitled, and I immediately understood what they meant. I’ve heard many educators, including myself, refer to students as entitled over my 17 years of teaching.
Our students think they deserve special treatment. Our students think they have the right to special allowances. Our students think they should receive without having worked, that they should get rewards without having earned them.
From one perspective, teachers are right! Kids these days…they’re so entitled.
But here’s the thing: we teachers suffer from entitlement too.
We think we deserve respect. We think we deserve higher pay. We think we deserve our students’ attention, interest, and effort. We think we deserve our administrator’s admiration and acknowledgment.
That’s just how it should be, right?
We all suffer from entitlement.
As a driver, I’m entitled to a ride where no one drives slower or faster than I think they should drive.
As a dad, I’m entitled to kids who hug me and love me unbidden, and who do as they’re told without complaint.
As a husband, I’m entitled to a wife who loves me adoringly and unconditionally, all the time, no matter how her day has been.
As a friend, I’m entitled to getting a text back when I reach out.
And when life doesn’t show up the way I’m entitled to it showing up, I have a right to complain.
All of that’s fine. All of that’s normal. It’s part of the way we're built as humans. However, it's valuable for us to recognize that our entitlement is a source of suffering, and we don't have to live that way.
When we live a life of entitlement, we miss out on what we’re actually entitled to:
Living our “one wild and precious life” in a creative, inspired, and empowered way.
‣ Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
‣ Satisfaction, fulfillment, gratitude, and enjoyment.
‣ Love, compassion, connection, and camaraderie.
We’re not entitled to any of those things automatically. However, we all have a spark of agency, divine wisdom, and creativity within us to create all of it.
But we first have to get that we’re not entitled to any of it. We’re simply entitled to go for it.
In what specific ways is your own sense of entitlement getting in the way of your ability to get what you’re actually looking for?
Thank you so much for reading. ❤️