I read with interest a new post on
Freshly Pressed, “Did I Miss the “don’t plug in your phone” Memo”.
It seems that the author has run into problems with hotels and such that don’t want their lobby sockets used for people re-charging their phones, laptops, etc. even when that person is a guest there, without asking first. Although it may seem excessive to some, the subject brings up several issues.
I don’t know if it’s manners (which have ceased to be taught in most places) as the first consideration or potential theft of property as the main issue. Of course there may also be some potential for security risk, due to the days we live in…. don’t scoff, that’s how the airplanes flying into the tall buildings happened. Someone scoffed at the idea that not learning to land was a potential problem.
Additionally, I think this has a lot to do with an entitlement attitude. Never before has any generation thought it was so entitled to anything it wanted, except certain past leaders, perhaps (I don’t think They are supposed to feel so entitled either, but it seems to creep into the role, the longer any position of authority is in place).
It’s understandable that this generation thinks it is entitled, since our good Senators and other politicians have been telling them they are entitled to this, that, and the other thing in order to get their votes. The Senators have been doing this for so long that they think they(the Senators) are entitled to everything They want too.
I hate to break it to you people, but no one is actually entitled to Anything. This life we are experiencing is an adventure of huge proportions, but it doesn’t come with entitlements until we come together and make agreements to mutually accept responsibility for the safety and freedoms of each other. On the other hand, being born into this life does come with responsibilities. You are responsible for the decisions you make. If you treat each other with respect and courtesy, then you Might get some back, though there is no one who can force anyone to give it to you. No amount of legislation will make a civil society. People have to want and give that of their own free will.
The question remains then; In a civilized social structure, are there things we should be entitled too? Perhaps in any civilized country (by that I mean that places which pride themselves on protecting their citizens and keeping things orderly) a citizen who pays their taxes and works to make a positive contribution to their culture, should be entitled to feel some respect from their government; whether that contribution is serving coffee over a counter to lines of impatient customers, or drafting legislation for the next rule to protect the citizens from themselves, it doesn’t matter, they both make a contribution to an orderly and productive society.
Respect from your government should translate into not ransacking your house without having solid evidence to suggest you’re doing something malicious. It should also mean not accusing you of doing malicious things, without having solid, correctly obtained evidence to back it up. These are things a citizen should expect from their society. It is all too easy for someone with a grudge or trying to get away with something to point a finger and make an accusation. It shouldn’t be so easy to convict someone of something they haven’t in fact done. An accusation is not proof of a crime.
Another thing a citizen should be entitled too is some legal protections for being allowed to live. Just to live. From birth upward, or before even. Sure a baby doesn’t make a contribution right away, but it’s the future of us all. We were all babies once too. As we were cared for, so should we also care for those coming up. Who, after all, will be there to run the society when we are too old to do it ourselves? We should have a care that we treat the coming generation with as much respect as we hope to get from them when we are old and frail.
Some would argue that we shouldn’t have the same care for those who are born, or will be born with difficulties that will prevent them from making a constructive contribution to society; who’s care would be a burden for a lifetime, perhaps. I would point out that if these people had their way, Stephen Hawking, whose contributions in the field of Astronomy and earth science have been huge, would not have been allowed to live, for his care has been tremendously long and costly; however, even without that contribution, I would also argue that there can not be a more significant contribution made then that of testing our societies heart and soul.
If we are truly a civilized society, then the care of those in difficulties is the primary reason for a societies existence. A strong healthy person can take care of themselves, if need be in the middle of a forest, or a desert. Societies are only necessary for the care of the weakest among us; So that should be an entitlement. That you get to live, even if you are not strong.
Another entitlement should be that you get to build or create things to your benefit, or to societies, as you have the proven ability to do, without need of hiring someone else to do it for you. If you can pass the tests that prove your knowledge base is broad enough, You should be able to do what you will with a skill on your own property. Guilds, which preclude anyone else from building or creating something unless they are a member of the guild, should Not have entitlement status, and that includes Unions. You are NOT entitled to prevent others from producing a product which they have designed and built themselves.
You are not entitled to tell someone else what they are allowed to do and not do, as long as it does not harm another person. These are not entitlements. A complaint from someone about something you are doing which does not physically or mentally harm a person , because they don’t personally like it, is not enough of a reason to justify making a desist order. Personal preference should have some entitlement status.
You are not entitled to take things that belong to others, just because they have it and you want it. If you want something that someone else has, you are allowed to ask, or barter for it. If you are turned down, you are not allowed to take it anyway. You are not entitled to have just as much “stuff” as the next person. If we all had equal incomes, some would use it wisely, and some would use it foolishly, and we would still have different amounts of “stuff”.
I do believe you are entitled to as much respect as the next person for an honest hours labor, regardless of what type of labor is being performed. An hours labor is the same amount of time out of every persons life, no matter the product being produced or the service being performed. All honest labor should get the same respect. I would go so far as to say that all wages should be the same, regardless of the activity being performed. If piece work could be done across the board than that would be the best way to pay people; but if that’s not possible, then the time put in should be compensated the same. Some people would manage to save some of their wages and start businesses of their own. A business Owner is entitled to as much profit as his product is able to generate after paying his workers and his overhead, unless his product is a life necessity, and the business owner is the sole provider, in the which case it needs to be provided at the lowest possible cost for the better benefit of the whole society.
These next things should be entitlements, to the better benefit of the entire society, but they cost, and these things require taxes to be paid for them: An Education sufficient that you can best benefit both yourself and society, and repay them for the education you receive. That should be an entitlement, as a better education repays it’s society in added productivity. Accessible entrances for public buildings. All the people within a society should be able to have access to publicly owned buildings. The right to a fair trial, when an accusation has been lodged and some evidence suggesting that it might be you is presented.
The right to humane treatment at the hands of jailors, while you repay society for any crimes you commit. I do believe that prisoners should be working to repay society for what was taken, and not just get free housing for a length of time. A person convicted of a crime after due process is accomplished, is Not entitled to free everything. Time served should be just that; time serving your community. Once they have repaid a debt, then they should be free to go. The punishment should fit the crime. That should be an entitlement.
Thinking that just because you breathe that you should also be given everything else necessary to be happy is Not an entitlement. If you are a capable person, you have an entitlement to repay society for helping you to grow up and become that capable person. Now you have responsibilities to meet.
© Ellen M Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC, 2012
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Story and EMariaEnterprises, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- The Social Security Entitlement Adventure (sofarfromheaven.com)
- Freedom to Fail (truthtofreedom.com)
- Are the Owner’s Children Entitled to the Business? (boss.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Entitlements in Business Should Never Replace Merit (forbes.com)
- Report: Dependence on government up 23 percent under President Obama (hotair.com)
- Employee Entitlement Attitudes and Generation Y in the Workplace (themarlincompany.com)
- Silicon Valley Entitlement Gets Political (techcrunch.com)
- Re: Prove to me objective “rights” exist. (bitcointalk.org)