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Underbelly: 10 Things - Entitlement

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#143 in a series of wild and precious reasons to embrace the journey.

This week I contemplated entitlement. I needed to visit my mom which meant crossing the border with an expired passport.
Since I am a US citizen, I am literally entitled to go to my country. (I looked it up :) )
Still, I was putting the customs agent out so I took pains to not present to her as one entitled :) but rather with compassion that this could be really irritating for her. After all, she’s got to make the call that I am telling the truth…and what if she’s wrong?
In any case, that got me thinking about entitlement. As I am visiting my mom, I will share one of her pieces of wisdom: “Life isn’t fair.”
Coupled with my family’s motto: “Everything always works out,” that could sum up what I have been contemplating this week.
Sometimes the space between “life isn’t fair” and “everything always works out” is where patience, a bit of wisdom, charity, self control, gentleness, and, sure - joy (you may see where I am going with this?) - are developed.
…and where entitlement is avoided.
To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection, but to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin. Thomas Aquinas
I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature. - Paulo Coelho
3. Prompt
What I sometimes notice is a willingness to see the disadvantaged as improperly entitled, whereas those in our “in group” including ourselves, are not.
I came across high minded quotes by powerful people admonishing us to have an attitude of gratitude and service. Certainly. Of course. Service and gratitude are vital. It occurred to me, though, that there is a balance needed.
Where are you in this balance? What are your feelings about entitlement?
Can you live in that messy space between knowing that life isn’t fair and that things, generally, mostly “work out”? Perhaps not in the way you expected, not in the way you could have ever imagined and with lots of unfortunate stuff in the middle sometimes…
4. Quest
It’s a week of sitting with stuff that you’d rather not sit with. What is a thing you would rather were different? A thing which, in a perfect world, would not exist in this way? An unfair thing.
Now - there are times for action, certainly. That space after the unfairness is acknowledged and after a period of reflection - in that space comes a moment where sometimes we can take right action so that “everything always works out.” :) generally not in the way you expected…
5. Level up
Is there a way you can reduce someone else’s burden this week? Sometimes, and it’s an art, not a science knowing when or how, reaching out to someone more disadvantaged than you are ( in compassion, not pity) can help move things away from the “unfair” balance point and toward the “working out” balance point.
6. Video
Paulo Coelho: Don't Be a Part-Time Dreamer | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network
Paulo Coelho: Don't Be a Part-Time Dreamer | SuperSoul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network
7. Podcast - I found this to be a delightful conversation about swearing less often…and it touches on entitlement, imho
J***s C****t, Angela, Why Are You Such a F***ing Potty-Mouth? - Freakonomics
8. Poem
9. Hero
Paulo Coelho - Wikipedia
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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