“An entitlement is the right to a particular privilege or benefit, granted by law or custom. If someone has a sense of entitlement, that means the person believes he deserves certain privileges — and he’s arrogant about it.”
I don’t remember much ever being said about entitlement until the year 2000. That’s when many young people started to seem to feel that they were entitled to anything they desired. That might be the latest trainers, (tennis shoes/sneakers) a mobile phone, (cellphone) or the new version of an X-Box or Playstation. And they didn’t want to work at jobs that they thought were not for them. Or work for pay that they didn’t think was enough.
Even when it was.
They didn’t want to have to pay rent and buy their own food either, and we suddenly had a generation of people still living with their parents into their thirties. They didn’t think much about obeying rules and laws, and started to disrespect authority in any form; from the police on the streets, to the teachers in the school classrooms. It hadn’t taken long for a huge number of over-tolerant mollycoddling parents to have created millions of surly cuckoos in their nests.
And they were scared to upset their own offspring.
Entitlement manisfested itself in other ways. Pushing in front of queues, complaining about the wait at a supermarket checkout, parking in disabled-only bays, and playing loud music on public transport or blasting it out through the open windows of their cars. They wanted to listen to their music, and didn’t care that others didn’t.
They were entitled.
They complained about their lot. They couldn’t afford to get a mortgage, so were unable to get on the property ladder. House prices were too high, so they had to rent. That’s if they ever moved out of course. They didn’t understand old people who couldn’t use a computer, or anyone who didn’t know what Spotify was. Social media ruled their lives, and provided them with a tribe to belong to.
Nobody else understood them, and everyone over 60 might as well be dead. Except their parents of course, because they provided a roof over their head, food to eat, and washed their new designer T-shirts according to the detailed instructions they were happy to dictate.
Most of those ‘entitled people’ are in their thirties now. Some are over forty. But they haven’t changed. You only have to look at how they behave during the Coronavirus pandemic to see those truculent teenagers are still in there somewhere. Entitled not to wear a mask. Entitled to go to parties. Entitled to walk around in groups with their friends. Entitled to buy one hundred rolls of toilet paper because it’s in short supply.
And they are buying tiny Ugg boots and Converse for their babies, and giving them gold bracelets to wear. And they won’t let them go to school in any old clothes, oh no.
Because they, like them, are entitled.