Operation: Life

“Psychology of Power”

Posted on: January 28, 2010

The Economist recently published this article about the “Psychology of Power.”

It was interesting and basically discussed the research around whether power corrupts people or power attracts corrupt people. An important question.

One word that was mentioned a few times was “entitlement.” This intrigued me. I have always felt that entitlement CAN be a huge societal problem and burden. It is my opinion that this seems to be an American concept. Not solely Americans. But perhaps predominately. We tend to feel we are entitled to a perfect life. As if we have done something in a previous life that warrants “goodness.” In all honesty, I think our “entitlement” should be limited to the following: opportunity.

As humans, who are fortunate to live in a “free” country, it is our entitlement only to the opportunity for circumstances/experiences. The opportunity to choose to love. To worship. To work. To rest. To eat and drink. To be healthy. To give. To take. To learn. To be ignorant. To indulge. To save. To reward. To punish. To celebrate. To mourn. To acquire possessions. To have wealth. To spend. To mend bridges. To burn them. To serve. To be served.

It is our choice what to do with those opportunities. No one is “entitled” automatically to any of the above. People who feel this sense of entitlement (and believe me, I know a few) are only out for disappointment when they find not everyone feels the same way they do. It saddens me when I see parents who teach their children to be this way, and I fear this problem is here for good. What happened to taking action and accepting responsibility?

I have always believed life is what you make it. Yes, bad things happen. No, life is not fair. But it is up to you what you do after what happens to you happens.

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