The entitled generation

And still, more trophies.

Okay, let’s talk more about it. There is a lot of controversy surrounding millennials being entitled, spoiled, or just products of their perspective environments, so I wanted to circle back to this. According to the Washington Post, 65% of Americans say millennials are entitled and 58% of millennials agree. Older Americans, such as myself, would be considered the Americans in the 65%, while people ages 18-24 would be considered in the millennials population.

Can we talk about this? If such a large number of millennials are admitting that they and their peers are entitled, what does that say about the generation that raised them? The older Americans. What does that say about the examples set before them, about the lessons taught to them? What does that say about the reality of life that we prepared them for… or lack there of? What does this say about millennials being entitled or products of their environments? I think it speaks volumes. I want to talk about this more because as a mother, aunt, sister, friend, daughter, and older American, I’ve seen what entitlement looks like.

I can remember in my days as a younger woman, having to face the harsh truth that even when you try your best, you may still lose. I remember being in a spelling bee in the fourth grade. I won the class spelling bee. I won the entire fourth grade spelling bee. But, when I went up against the school, I was disqualified. I didn’t know how to spell “juvenile” and at that time I gave it my best effort in sounding it out. I spelled it -juvenial, which may I add was an awesome try! But, the fact remained, I was out. It burned. It stung really badly. But I had to realize that my time was up. I could have mismanaged my emotions and acted unruly, but instead I chose to take my loss, return to the audience and find a seat, pout inside to myself, and watch the other students give their best efforts with the remaining words. I didn’t receive a trophy for not spelling the word correctly, or for participating in the spelling bee. I had earned my place where I stood each time, and when my time was up, it was up.

I thought this story was essential to share because it shows what happens when a child loses but doesn’t get rewarded or receive anything for just participating. It allows children to feel their emotions, all of them, the good and the bad, the comfortable and the uncomfortable, and learn healthy ways to manage their emotions. I had to feel that disappointment and deal with it. I talked about it with a few friends during the next recess, but I dealt with it.

When there are rewards for just showing up, it’s like teaching someone that their presence is a gift and that can definitely make people entitled. Showing up deserves no praise. What do you do when you show up? What happens when you arrive. Are you giving your best effort? Or are you showing up and expecting the world to be pleased and also reward you?

I am very interested in your thoughts and opinions on this matter. Perhaps you even want to share a story of your own. Please, feel free.

Categories: LifestyleTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. This is very true. I believe that getting rewarded for just showing up. I am considered an older woman I do believe that when you felt the loss you were taught how to take a loss and also how to go harder.

    Liked by 1 person

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