Wednesday, October 08, 2008

anti-entitlement...

It's surprising how surprised so many people are about this whole financial crisis. "What, the people at the very top of selfish corporations are just as selfish as the people trying to get to the top?" Is it so surprising, in the world we've allowed ourselves to become, with the selfish motivations, and the rewards for selfishness found throughout the business world....that those who arrive at the top feel entitled for certain "perks" for having achieved the "success" they've been taught to seek their entire lives?

In my brief 2-year stint in sales-type positions, I would guess that 99% of the people I worked with...if they somehow became a "higher-up" in the company...would have nothing but their own interests in mind. They would arrange to get the highest salary they could (because they're entitled to it), and live accordingly. But that's all they ever heard from the top anyways. We had an 8 day training in Atlanta, GA...where we learned about the products and the company. But we were also shown all the promises that success within the company would earn us. (even though the main "success" speaker was over 40, and divorcing because she wanted a family and her hubby didn't)

It's not uncommon to meet someone who feels they are "entitled" to something. Many Christians even, that I've met. If we experience difficult times at a point, or for a period of time in our lives, and then tables are turned, we usually soak up as much of the "good" or "success" as we can. We figure it's God "rewarding us", or somehow "making it up" to us for how rough we had it previously. Our lives can become quickly very selfishly motivated when we have this view...even if we throw a few bones to those who continue to suffer.

So what ARE we entitled to? According to famous documents, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"...but I think at the root of many of our issues, we find a discrepancy in what "pursuit of happiness" means. For the sake of the future, perhaps that term should find meaning in the broader happiness/wellness/justice of all humanity; as opposed to simply "my" happiness.

Coming tomorrow: How to fix the economy. :)

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