Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Entitlement Mentality: From a Nation of Entrepreneurs and Hard Workers to a Nation of Whiners

We have a free, local paper here that has a column called "Speak Out." It has long been a source of amusement for me, to read the complaints (such as "we live in the United States of America but I don't understand why we have so many Canada Geese"), bizarre questions and various soapbox diatribes that people call in to have included in the column. Today, however, I just about had an aneurysm. 

There has been a slowly simmering discontent within me regarding the Entitlement Mentality that has what seems to be a death grip on the populace of this great nation. A nation forged out of adversity, by hard-working people, people who traveled thousands of miles in unfathomable conditions just to have a shot at the "American Dream", as well as people born here to families who knew the value and importance of taking care of their own. 

The blurb featured on the front page of the paper caused my jaw to drop and my dander to rise. I turned quickly to the column to read the whole comment, not wanting to take anything out of context, only to find that I was definitely NOT taking anything out of context. I will include the full comment here for your perusal:

We Are Struggling
 I'd like to see those presidents live on what we have to live on. Why do we have to struggle when they are not struggling?
 They could give some of their money to some of us other people like senior citizens and other people who don't have jobs. They could hand some of that money over to us.
 But they don't need it. They're already millionaires. Let them share it with us. We need it. They don't.
 I'd like to know if I am the only one who feels this way because it kind of makes me mad to think we have to struggle when they are not struggling at all.
 There are some weeks I don't even have money for groceries. If it wouldn't be for my little garden, I wouldn't even have any grocery money.

Let me start by saying that I am not a millionaire. I know what it's like to not know how we're going to pay the utility bill in the dead of winter, or the rent, or how to feed five people on $60 a week. I've even had a food stamp card. So I get struggling to make ends meet. And I feel for those who are in that position right now. And I wouldn't mind having some of what those millionaires have, either, for the record. It would sure make things easier here!

I don't know this person's situation, either, so it would be unfair for me to categorically include them in the masses inflicted with Entitlement Mentality. But it sure does seem that this person has a raging case of it by what they said.

So now, tell me, why do millionaires have to share their millions with you? To "hand some of that money" over to you? Just because you don't have any? How does that even make sense? To expect someone who has more than you to just hand money over to you because you do not, well, to me that sounds very childish. Because the underlying message here is that "it's not fair" that someone has more than you. 

When, exactly, did life become fair? Is it even reasonable to expect fairness in every area of life? Liberals have some good ideas...of course we should do what we can to make life better for others, but where I take issue is when it's demanded, or forced. That whole "redistribution of wealth" concept really doesn't work...just take a look at the countries who practice it. I can't say standing in line for hours to buy bread is really good for the collective. Life, by its very nature, is unfair! And there is nothing that any law, mandate, referendum, policy or political correctness can do to change that.

But that's what those inflicted with Entitlement Mentality apparently believe...that others, who may work harder (or just work, as the case may be), who become successful through educational opportunities (that are available to everyone, by the way, although some will just have to work harder than others to achieve success), planning, and making wise choices for themselves, have to hand over the wealth they accumulate to people who don't  take advantage of education, don't work hard at improving their lives, fail to plan, and make irresponsible decisions. Simply because they have what others do not. It really drives me nuts!

Of course, there are all kinds of situations and exceptions and people who really are down on their luck in spite of doing the right things. Those aren't the ones I'm talking about here.  They are the kind of people who will accept help, but still do what they can do get out of their situation and improve their lot in life. It's the ones who won't work, won't go to school, won't be responsible for themselves or the babies they create, and then expect everyone who has what they want and can't have, because of their own choices and irresponsibility, to cover their living expenses, pay their medical bills and buy them food. Or expect the government to do it for them.

Am I saying that those who are blessed with abundant financial means should keep it to themselves and never help anyone? Absolutely not! I believe part of being responsible with wealth includes giving to the poor and helping the less fortunate. As one with a heart to give to others as I am able, I consider it a blessing to be able to do just that. And as a follower of  Christ, I know that it is my responsibility, my duty, to serve others and give.

When did we go from a nation of people proud of working hard to become successful to a nation of people who expect the government, or the very wealthy, to provide for their every need? When did the role of government change from its proper role, to prevent crime and lawlessness, to its perceived role of Nanny, of Provider? Why have so many Americans fallen victim to Entitlement Mentality?

The proper role of government is to restrain crime of every sort. The problem of government is that it becomes the perpetrator of the very crimes it is supposed to restrain, except on a massive scale. This is why the Founders established the Constitution. Its purpose is to restrain government, giving it limited, enumerated authority. The purpose of government is not to redistribute the private property of its citizens, or to provide a benefit to one class of citizen, at the expense of the rest. When this happens, all classes begin to demand special benefits using the police power of government to extract it from their fellow citizens until you have anarchy. ~ Our Republic (emphasis mine)
It is really sad to see this nation deteriorating and deviating from the principles on which it was founded. It is sad to see people, who have so much to offer our country and our world, fall victim to hopelessness and despair and the illusion of security provided by our government. And it is absolutely maddening to hear people whining about the fact that others have more than they do. There will always be those who have and those who have not. At least in America...for the time being...you have opportunities to leave the Have Nots and join the Haves, if only you were to quit your whining, get off your butt, and do something about it.

If you expect the government to do for you what you should be doing for yourself, don't be surprised when you end up broke, homeless and ill. It's inevitable. Just look at Washington, DC...
~yeah, I said that...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Make it Yourself and Save Money!

I just added a post to my Purposeful Nourishment blog on making your own cream of mushroom soup, plus I've included a recipe for Taco Seasoning and my mother in law's famous Burrito Casserole. Come check it out!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

WE HAVE A WINNER!! Congratulations!

(Due to technical difficulties on November 1, the winner of the Really Woolly Kids DVD giveaway was chosen just now...thanks to ClassTools.net Random Name/Word Picker)

AMANDA, you're the lucky winner!

Please contact me with your address so I can send it out to you! Thanks again for following my blog and for entering the giveaway, I know your kids will love this DVD!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Originally, I didn't want to have children. I didn't want to sacrifice my freedom, I absolutely adored sleep, and I didn't want to bring another innocent life into this crazy world. God had other plans in store for me, though!

I now have five kids...three stepsons - 20, 18 and 16...a daughter, 10 and one boy of my very own, who is almost 3. God is funny like that, really.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, and before I knew she was a she, I was pretty sure she'd be a boy, given her father's track record...and his family's, it's just absolutely fraught with boys...in fact, even at the ultrasound I had just before being induced, to see if she was big enough, they said she was a girl. I said "I'll believe it when I see it!" I was so relieved when I saw that she was, indeed, a girl. At that point in my life, I don't think I could have handled a boy.

I didn't really want to have a boy. Boys are strange, foreign creatures. They like dirt, rocks, army men, sticks and guns and noise. I don't really like those things, so how am I to relate to someone who does? How do I get past the rambunctious, infinite energy...the things that get broken...the dirt...

Two of my stepsons live with us, and we have a long, complicated family history. It hasn't always been pretty. We haven't always gotten along so well. But I've been praying for restoration in our family, and for reconciliation between my stepsons and I. That's a tall order, especially at the stage of life they are in now!

And recently, they all had birthdays. This year the idea popped into my head to make them whatever they want for breakfast. Oldest Boy's birthday was on a Saturday, and the way the day went we ended up having his birthday breakfast for supper...but hey, pancakes and bacon from the best butcher shop around is good any time of day!

The next birthday was for Youngest Boy, who turned 16. He wanted cinnamon rolls, hot wings and chocolate milk. So I made cinnamon rolls...that almost didn't turn out, but then ended up being really yummy...and cheated a bit on the wings, I got frozen ones and nuked them. He said that was ok, so I went ahead and took the shortcut.

And Middle Boy, who is a well-known carnivore, wanted steak and bacon and scrambled eggs and cheese. So, I made a New York Strip steak, two pounds of bacon (like anyone else around would stay out of the bacon...had to make sure there was enough!) and scrambled eggs and cheese. His friend joined him and ate the eggs, Birthday Boy was quite full of steak and bacon.

I got some of the best compliments...the youngest one (who told me his friends are jealous because I make him breakfast every morning before school) thought the cinnamon rolls were awesome, when Middle Boy walked in the house (he's the one not living with us), he said after checking out the steak, "Dawn knows the way to a man's heart", Middle Boy's friend said "why can't my mom cook as good as you?", to which Middle Boy said it's because "she puts a lot of love in it."  That really made my day. Because I really did put a lot of love in all three meals. And I meant it.

I realized after reflecting on all this Birthday Breakfast stuff that I felt rather maternal toward them. I'm not actually their mother, and even "stepmother" is more of a title than anything. I wondered if this is how moms with a bunch of teenage boys feel, when they're cooking their sons' favorite meals. It was nice. God has opened my eyes recently to the wonders of my stepsons. They really are terrific young men. I'm glad that God has put them in my life.

And so, this gives me hope for my own son, who is in the same moment endearing and exasperating, loving and annoying, cute and rotten. I still haven't figured out what makes a boy tick, but I know the way to his heart is through his stomach...thank you, Lord, for giving me the ability to cook! And thank you for all these boys in my life, and what I have learned from them...and what I will learn in the years to come. They have added a dimension to my life I never knew existed, and for that I am truly grateful.

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Integrity is a Lost Virtue, but I Choose to: