In France, upwards of a million people, many of them young, are marching, striking and sometimes rioting — because the government’s raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. It’s a dramatic display of the entitlement mentality, which isn’t interested in hearing about demographic realities and financial limitations. It’s the mentality that says (no, shouts): We demand our decades of leisure, and if anyone says we can’t have them — and we mean every bit of them — we’ll throw a fit.
The mentality hasn’t gone quite that far in the U.S., where many young people recognize that they can’t retire as early and live as comfortably as earlier generations. But it’s gone pretty far, as we’ll see by the protests that’ll come if anyone makes a serious effort at cutting the biggest government programs. We didn’t get this national debt by accident.
This attitude isn’t just directed toward government. It’s one that pervades pretty much all of life for a great many people. They take an “I’m entitled” approach to their dealings with their families, their friends, their employers, their church workers. And even with God.
It should go without saying that this mindset is the opposite of the one we’re called to have. We’re supposed to be thankful people with servant hearts. But even when we know better, the culture has a way of seeping in, and finds a receptive place in our still-sinful nature.
To fight this, we have to start by identifying it. How do you see the entitlement mentality in yourself, and the people around you? How widespread is it? Where do you see it the most?