There are plenty of fundamental problems in our society that desperately need to be fixed. One of the major issues facing us is this pervasive entitlement mentality that has been eating away at our character as a people, constantly making us weaker and weaker…and less American. The most recent and local example of this is the minimum wage initiative by NMCAFe here in southern New Mexico.
In spite of the Las Cruces City Council putting forth a reasonable compromise of an increased minimum wage of $8.50/hour (something that made no one really happy, but something everyone could live with), NMCAFe plugged their ears and shut their eyes and pushed forward to get the $10.10/hour increase they wanted, no matter what the concerns of others might be or who might get hurt in the process (including those they claim to want to help). It’s this attitude of “I deserve” and “I’m owed” that’s allowed that kind of behavior to be tolerated and even embraced. So many people on both sides have failed to do what used to be the norm in America: telling those like NMCAFe Director, Sara Nolan, to grow up and learn how to work with others for something beyond their personal wants.
It’s not just a left-wing thing, either. We had a Republican running for Senate this past year, Allen Weh, who was just as guilty of wallowing in an entitlement mentality. He decided that, because of who he was, what he’d done in his past and the station in society he now holds, that he simply deserved to be elected and everyone who considered themselves conservative should just fall in line and support him blindly. Unfortunately for him, there are way too many people on the right who are fed up with being treated that way. Add to that the fact that he blatantly alienated large numbers of grass roots-oriented conservatives while making absolutely no effort to connect with conservative Democrats (Yes, there are a lot of those in New Mexico.). His run was a spectacular failure as large numbers of voters simply stayed away from the polls altogether and a huge block who did vote, withheld their votes from him. Yet, we have so many who demand the allegiance of voters simply because of the letter beside their names and the candidates names. Like expecting workers who want higher pay to be willing to put out the effort to earn it, we need to start demanding that our candidates and officials do something to actually earn our votes and our support, too.
Our nation is founded on the principle that we’re all created equal, not that equality needs to be imposed upon us throughout our lives and definitely not that those who earn more need to be forcibly brought down to a lower level out of some twisted sense of fairness and not that we need to be told to shut up and show ‘gratitude’ or ‘loyalty’ to those who claim to know so much more than we do and who claim to be looking out for our wellbeing. We need to stop acting like victims and giving our power away and embrace individual responsibility again…in ourselves and those around us.
After all, equality doesn’t need to be imposed, only defended against those who would directly attack it or twist, diminish and pervert it under the guise of empowerment and doing away with perceived inequalities (like the false narrative about the so-called income inequality). We need to return to the idea that, if we want something, then we should put out the effort to get it. If we’re not willing to do what it takes, then it’s obviously not important enough to us. Handing people what they haven’t earned is like rewarding a child who has behaved badly. In that kind of an environment, there should be no surprise when that child continues to behave badly, just as there should be no surprise when those being given higher wages or benefits or even votes under the guise of ‘equality’ or ‘loyalty’ or ‘a lesser of two evils’, regardless of effort, show no desire to excel or put out extra effort to earn what they want.
In small increments, kind of like putting a frog into cold water and then slowly heating it up, we’ve accepted so much of this sort of entitlement thinking as a part of modern life and it becomes more vitally important every day that we wake up and jump out of that pot while we’re still capable as a society of embracing personal responsibility and excelling in the process.