What the World Owes Me
The world has changed so much since my birth. I arrived at the tail end of the 60s; the peace generation. Of course, people forget the violence of this time period and all the social unrest. In many ways, the people of this generation protested against the pleasant memories of the 1950s. Remember poodle skirts? I have only seen them in pictures.
The 70s went crazy. People realized the unrealistic nature of the peace movement and they rebelled in a different direction. This gave rise to disco music, real drugs, and computers. This paved the way to the 80s; my decade. I loved the culture, the style, the movies, and the people. MTV, John Hughes films, good word processors and the best music ever. Of course, behind the great times, I watched the evolution of organized street crime, the height of the cold war and people struggling to fit in.
The 90s turned out to be a letdown. The music started with the grunge movement and then techno. How completely depressing. Of course, computers were simply amazing, the movies got more realistic and people took on their own style. Who cares about top 40? Get an MP3 player and listen to whatever you like.
Then the 2000s rolled out, and I became an adult. I got married to a wonderful woman and had an amazing daughter. Time to man-up. And so, I did. Life became less exciting but more stable. Overall, I’m a lot happier.
Well, what does it all mean? Where do I go from here? In all likeliness, my life will be more of the same. I’m going to raise my daughter, go to work, write in my spare time and try to come up with a business. Who is going to help? Friends, family and the Internet.
What should happen to my life? What should have my history have been? Overall, I have a few complaints that I try to keep to myself. I remind myself every day how grateful I am to be alive. However, something large has changed in society since my birth.
Today, the perception is that we are owed something. When I came into this wonderful world, the state gave me a birth certificate and a few laws against child abuse. Other than the air I breathed, the world offered me nothing more. Of course, had been blessed with a healthy body, two wonderful parents and an amazing sister to guide me to adulthood. I do not feel that I am owed anything.
The topic of this blog is “what I am owed.” I think the perception of what people are owed has changed dramatically. People are demanding more and getting more. Three weeks ago, a server accidentally spilled my food as she brought it to the table. Keep in mind that the food was not spilled on me and the incident only resulted in a slight delay. She apologized, the manager apologized and said he would take my entree off the bill. It appeared that the restaurant owed me a free meal for her mistake. I informed the manager that the server did a great job and I did not require a free meal. I imagine he thought, “Who would turn down a free meal?”
To me, this incident falls under, “No harm, no foul.” It is a privilege to have enough money to buy dinner at a great restaurant and be served by this wonderful person. Now if the server had poured hot coffee on my lap that would be a different story.
Others do not share my view. People demand things they don’t deserve and then get them with a smile. Getting a free meal because a server bumped her tray is not a privilege, it’s a right. That right is in the same category as getting a fair trial and free speech. Not getting a free meal will result in bad Yelp reviews, having the credit card cancel the payment, boycotting the restaurant and hacking their computers. Take that, you evil corporations!
I have no idea where this sense of entitlement in our society came from. Minor bumps in life are turned into major overcompensations. Everybody deserves something for doing nothing. If not, they take their complaints all the way to the Supreme Court.
So why am I writing about this issue? To complain about other people? No. My humble blog would not alter any attitudes. My reason for blogging about this topic is that I am being forced to change my perception. The new generation expects more, gives less and has a bad attitude. So let's write some “new” dialog:
“Oops, sorry about that.”
“My meal is going to be free? Right?”
“I’ll get my manager to take that off the bill. Have a great dinner, sir.”
“Alright, that’s better.”
Gahhhh. Hey customer, man-up and stop acting like a jerk. It is as if this “normal” customer is an evil protagonist. I really want to hate that guy. This reads like an excerpt from a horror/crime drama. The dreaded motorcycle gang leader walked into the dinner with the intention of committing a crime. He needs an excuse to start shooting. Wait a minute, she dropped the plate. That’s all the motivation he needs.
This new sense of entitlement is hard for me to accept. I want to scream, “Grow up! Start taking responsibility for your own actions!” However, I have been overruled and entitlement is here to stay. The world may not owe me something, but it does owe everybody else.
In writing, I have to start thinking along the lines of the present generation. One of my upcoming books has a daughter, and she is going to be a modern girl. The world is going to have to owe her something big. Is she going to demand a free meal? Girrrrr. Yes, she will. Hmm. Her parents are not going to like that. I see some spanking in her future. Wait, a minute. You can no longer spank your child. She would put that on Facebook to let the entire world know what happened. Girrrrr.
You’re the best -Bill
March 13, 2019
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