I don’t have an experiment necessarily for this month, but something in November did strike me in the entitlement area.
Elections are coming up. For weeks (and in some cases months) the political rhetoric has been increasing in intensity. Beyond the regular boost in political phone calls, TV commercials and junk mail, the undercurrent of entitlement has become even more passionate. Locally, it is a fierce battle to pass a levy for our schools, i.e. if our levy passes, things will stay status quo and we will get our High School busing back. Regionally, we are hearing about multiple issues on the ballot that either will take away someone’s rights or give people more rights. Nationally, we are seeing the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators rallying against the greed of Wall Street. I spent about an hour trying to figure out what the Occupy protest was all about, and I felt more confused than when I started. I did find this on the “We Are The 99 Percent” website that I thought was pretty succinct:
“We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent. “ (1)
Basically, what we have been hearing for weeks how everybody is dissatisfied. No one is happy with some aspect (or maybe for some people ALL aspects) of their life.
And yet, this is supposed to be the season of Thanksgiving.
This dichotomy is blowing my mind. So after November 8th, will people drop their signs and their voting pens and do a 180 and suddenly become grateful with what they have in order to be “in the spirit” of the holiday? I am having a hard time thinking that would be a sincere transition. I have to admit I am in this boat. I desperately want the school levy to pass because I don’t want to drive my kids to school or have them forfeit their after-school activities. And why is that? I could give the altruistic answer and say it is because I love the kids and the teachers and want our education for them to be top-notch (which is all true, BTW), but the other answer is because I have become accustomed to these things and I want them to stay and I don’t want my life inconvenienced in any way.
Who knows how the dust will settle on November 9th, but I hope that in the wake of realizing what rights we have or what we don’t have anymore, we can all be grateful for all the things we DO have. It will be easy to be thankful for the things we might gain, but will people be able to look past the things they lose to still see all the riches they already have? I hope so.