Guidelines: Feeding Entitlement


By Simon Ambit

As daylight savings time swings around again, I can’t help but get excited for longer days of sunshine and warmer weather. With that, thoughts of camping and added outdoor time are ushered into my mind.

As my mind is escorted to days of summer, I can almost feel the glare of the sun in my mind’s eye. I imagine the rays glistening off the water, the temperatures in the 90s and the sun in full splendor. There are not many things that top jumping off the rocks or the back of a boat and splashing into the waters of Lake Powell. One thing that does make it even better is to find a break in the water play and head to the marina for some cold ice cream.

My family and I experienced this on our last trip to Lake Powell. A friend of ours took us to the marina and we enjoyed a cool treat. As we ate our frozen treats, we were entertained by the large amounts of carp that hung around the docks of the marina. As we tossed crumbs over the edge, the water would erupt into a churning of scales and splashing as the fish raced to the surface for a bite of the falling crumbs. It was extremely entertaining for the kids and they kept the fish at bay for quite some time with their periodic handouts.

I thought of this experience as I sat in a meeting this past week. A concern was shared of the entitlement that seems to be growing more prevalent in our rising generations. I appreciated one particular perspective that was shared in response. It was suggested that if the rising generations are growing more entitled, it is largely in part due to the current and past generations having entitled them.

This suggestion made a lot of sense to me. The carp lurking among the docks will simply lie around lazily until a handout is thrown. Then they race up to get it and repeat the process, knowing that eventually someone will feed them again. They seldom venture off to find a meal on their own, nor do they get to experience any of the other areas of the great Lake Powell. All because they settle for dependence upon what they have always been given.

What if the crumbs and handouts were to stop? Would the fish lie there and starve to death, or would they begin to venture out beyond the marina and find other waters and other sources of sustenance?

I am not suggesting that we do not help and support our children and the rising generations. On the contrary; that is our role. But we must do it in a way that prepares them to return the duty to the next generation. We must all know how to work and to earn, to sacrifice and to share, to wait and to save.

Life is good; may we all be enabled and not entitled.

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