Today on talk back there was a debate raging about the idea mooted to legalise marijuana. Of course lots of pros and cons and a fairly balanced number of each.
A man rang in and started down the ''where will it all end'' route. I rolled my eyes as I listened - yet another old guy complaining about young people and how when he was a teenager there were boundaries, and kids didn't misbehave, and all that other stuff that is completely not true but sounds good when you're a senior looking back with misty eyes on your youth.
But then the host made the comment 'actually I think the question is not whether this should be legal, but why we think it should be - seems we think that everything is a right these days regardless of it's impact on us or society'.
Wow how true is that. I reckon in the time of my adulthood, we have changed from a society who 'got on'' and did stuff, and wore the consequences of bad decisions, to one that has a complete sense of entitlement, and worse, if it doesn't like the outcome will fight to the death for restitution. Lose your job? Lodge a personal grievance. Get a speeding ticket? Send in a dispute. Unhappy with a product? Take it back to the shop and demand a refund. Having a tough time in a relationship? Demand change or walk out!
Absolutely there are times when all of these responses are valid or reasonable. But not ALL the time. We have become a society who thinks we are the most important person in the universe and everyone else should take that into consideration - or worse, get the heck out of our way so we can charge on through it. There's no such thing as tough luck any more. Not many people suck up anything. There are few who would make a life changing compromise if there was an easier option.
It saddens me. How did we go from being people who gave a damn about others, who didn't think twice about going out of our way for someone, stranger or not. Who was so appreciative of having a job/wife/new TV/car that to question the validity or quality of these things was not the foremost thing in our minds!?
We are people who think the world owes us a living. Its a broad generalisation but it's true. Kids are encouraged to feel a sense of entitlement, and adults just get on and have one. We DESERVE better. We SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THAT. And, the longer we dwell on those thoughts, the stronger they become. Until reality is untenable at which point we write the letter or make tracks.
I've spent a bit of time of late in this camp. I didn't deserve that. I TOTALLY didn't deserve THAT! And as for THAT - well frankly I should sue for it. Some of it I didn't. I really didn't. But some is just life. Other people make decisions that impact on me. And I can rage and burn all I like, but as long as the rest of the world is going to march on with it's sense of entitlement up high o the flagpole, my feelings won't make a blind bit of difference. Sad. But a reality.
Yes, often it's true that we get something, experience something that isn't fair, or we really don't deserve. But often it ain't - and maybe we should spend a little bit more time being grateful for, and gracious with, the things and people in our lives, and a little less time wishing they were better.