Monday, May 26, 2014

You Don't Deserve Anything

I'm glad that some people have framed this whole mess as an act of violence against women. I'm glad that people have recognized this as an issue of privilege and delusional expectations.

I am thankful it is causing discussions about handguns yet again and about the psychological states of our youth. I am glad of those things.

If the disturbed young man involved in this horror was in fact a sociopath (which I think is safe to say he is an "unsuccessful sociopath" judging by the transcription of his video) he could not have been rehabilitated. All the therapy about misplaced mommy rage would have no impact. If on the other hand, it was a case of entitlement - i.e. he should be able to have anything he wants whenever he wants, including women, there may have been the possibility of redemption.

Though I personally believe this kid was a sociopath, I think his language speaks to a greater issue that impacts not only the criminally insane or mentally disturbed, but all young people. That is the issue of entitlement, specifically male entitlement.

I find it to be profoundly disturbing that entitlement can go this far. It makes me think of how I want to raise my son and how many in younger generations expect certain things to be handed to them. Fair warning, I may offend you (especially if you have been spoiled, sheltered, or have weirdly thin skin).

For these lovely entitled individuals and all parents everywhere (please talk about these things with your kids if you haven't already) I have this to say :
  1. You don't always get what you want. Even if you have a trust fund.
  2. Other people are not objects to be used and discarded at will.  They are people with dreams, thoughts, goals, and desires all their own.
  3. Other people have thoughts and feelings which are completely unconnected to whatever your issues might be.
  4. Other people's feelings have value that is equal to yours. This means they deserve respect, even if they are the opposite to yours.
  5. If no one likes you, it's not their problem. It's yours.
  6. If you ask someone out and they say no, you can ask them why. If it has to do with one of your personal character flaws, guess what? You can choose to change it, or let it be.
  7. You do not deserve anything except what you earn for yourself. If someone decides to give you something, it is a gift and should be received with gracious humility.
  8. If you want to change a situation, first examine yourself. What would you need to do in order to make something happen that you want? Decide what those things are and do them.
  9. Don't whine. You have no right to whine unless you've tried to change your situation.
  10. You're not inherently special. Get over yourself.

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