Do you feel a sense of entitlement with age? When does this happen? Can you explain at what point in a person’s life they stop viewing themselves as youthful/invincible and start being overprotective about what they have (ex: lawns). Any advice you can offer that can help me prepare for the perspectives of old age would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Cody
Get off my lawn. Yes, yes…every softball deserves to fly high into the outfield and hopefully over the fence. But sports metaphors aren’t why we’re here. You’re curious about entitlement with regard to aging and responsibility, which is funny considering your graduating class is being greeted with the worst unemployment in decades. Okay, yeah, that’s not funny at all.
So, when does a sense of entitlement begin? Actually, contrary to what you might think, it starts as soon as you’re born. It grows steadily from then on through the late teens. In certain populations, people not named Paris Hilton for instance, it starts to ebb as life becomes more personally controlled. You know, like when you have a lawn. If you helped that lawn grow to be a lush, yet tiny forest that wastes precious fresh water from our ever dwindling supply, then damn straight your gonna lash out at some punk riding his bike across it for kicks. Of course, as you age, the control over your own life starts to fade again. Real entitlements like Social Security and Medicare start to kick in. You expect your kids to do stuff for you because, well, I’m sure everybody has their own set of reasons and rationalizations. My friend, and sometimes co-author, feels that when the whole “I brought you into this world, I can take you out” no longer applies, you feel entitled because you didn’t take them out. Which I can totally get behind.
My advice to you depends on where you feel you are on the spectrum. If you feel that you have no sense of entitlement I can only assume that you’re nearing middle age, and thus are not in need of any advice. I strongly suspect, given the oh so subtle snark in your question, that you might be emerging from the ebb. Every birthday brings another year where you feel yourself getting dumber because you’re shown daily how much of the world you know absolutely nothing about. You force feed yourself as much knowledge as you can every day, only to discover that you’re just still digging that hole. At which point you just say, you know what, I totally need a lawn. Lawns rarely add to your growing fear that you know absolutely nothing. Even when they die, you know it was from lack of water or the neighbor’s dog pissing on it too much.
In reality, you don’t need my advice at all. You live life as you need to live it, yelling at kids on your lawn when the need arises.