Sense of entitlement or innocent ignorance?

It’s repeatedly said that this generation has an inflated sense of entitlement. Unemployed youth expect their benefits for nothing, we all demand everything and now not later, and when we don’t get our way we moan and moan. I wrote the draft for post, for example, in my Swedish Whitelines notebook in McDonald’s after suffocating my anger with greasy food because my train was cancelled. Again.

However, I’d like to offer a bit of a spin. Instead of a heightened sense of entitlement, I’d like to suggest we’re just innocently ignorant.

When the entitlement card is played, our situation is often compared to third world countries, and we’re told how much better we have it, but the fact remains that no matter how many times a celebrity goes to Africa and tearfully points at starving children, we’re completely ignorant of how it actually feels to be that starving child. This is okay though; as the famous quote goes,’ignorance is not a sin’.

In the UK, we live in a time where the only thing we can’t do with our mobile phones is reproduce; where the biggest problem isn’t homelessness or starvation, it’s virtual debt and lack of jobs; where our free NHS is the lifeblood of our country. This is our standard of living, an d if it goes below that and we complain, we’re told we’re being selfish and have a high sense of entitlement. However, it isn’t that we believe we deserve these things, but rather see that this is our standard or life. So if  benefits and support are taken away from people who need them most, or the NHS gets screwed around, or our phone companies mess up, or our trains are cancelled, it still sucks and we should be able to complain without someone in a tailor-made suit telling us ‘don’t be ridiculous’.

What are your thoughts? Have you been told you’re being selfish and entitled? Or maybe I’m seeing things wrong. Let me know in the comments below.


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