WHILE MY LIFETIME FOCUS REMAINS THE HUMANITIES, AFTER MANY YEARS OF ACADEMIC WRITING, WITH MY SENSE OF SARCASM HEIGHTENED, I HAVE RE-KINDLED MY INTEREST IN TRAVEL AND HUMOR. I AM NOW WORKING IN THE GENRE OF HUMOR AND RE-VISITING THE BRIGHTER SIDE OF LIFE. OF COURSE, I AM ALSO SEEKING AN AGENT AND A PUBLISHER FOR MY CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS. IN THE INTERIM, I POST A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION.
Turning Over New Leaf
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Entitled to What?
Painting of Narcissus by Caravaggio
Entitled to What?
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Leiriope. This exceptionally handsome young man was told by his mother that he would live a long life – if he obeyed one rule. He was never to peer upon his own features. Ancient Greeks were superstitious, believing it unlucky or even fatal to see one's own reflection.
Narcissus knew he was the cat’s pajamas (as they would say in the ‘20s), so he rejected the love of other human beings. This excessive self-adoration ticked off the goddess Nemesis, so she lured the young fool to the edge of the water, where he saw his own reflection and fell in love with it. Not realizing it was merely an image, Narcissus jumped into the water to be with his love – and drowned.
Ancient Greece was devoid of the psychoanalysts we enjoy today. They never labeled an excessive degree of self-esteem as a form of emotional immaturity. I fear they were sharper in their superstitions than we citizens of the modern day Western world are with our social philosophy.
So now we are left with what we have labeled, The Entitlement Generation.
Entitlement is loosely defined as a guarantee of benefits because of innate rights, or by legal agreement. It also refers today to someone’s belief that he or she is deserving of some particular reward or benefit – just because they are who they are. Why?
Sixteen-year-olds are entitled to new cars. Children must wear the latest fashions. Everyone in the workforce should start off at the top. Some of us are “not into work,” so we collect benefits. After all, everybody should have a job that suits him, right?
I love it when people look at their next door neighbor's house and feel cheated, simply because they saw their own reflection in the mirror that morning. Move in with mom and dad kids. After all, adulthood is just too hard, and your parents made the decision to have you, so they should support you forever.
Stop the whining, please! Take responsibility for your personal choices. Live within your means. Practice some self-restraint. Taking advantage of your parents is pure selfishness.
It has been three thousand years since Narcissus drowned. Get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and stare at an adult. Adults are independent. They demonstrate self-control. They are stable and responsible, and they have the ability to make their own decisions.
I have been told by colleagues that the new trend among high school graduates is to take their parents with them to job interviews to field the tough questions. This would never be tolerated on my home planet.
My word of advice to the young people with all the answers out there in excuse land: Read up on the goddess Nemesis. She is alive and well.