I’m Entitled—Your Entitled

One of the problems with this popular culture is that so many Americans have a sense of entitlement.  Gone are the days when rewards were the result of hard work.  This sense of entitlement based ethics means that we feel that we have a right to things—a nice home, a well paying job, new car and an easy life.  We see no reason that they shouldn’t be given to us, just by being–we are entitled.  We are a culture of complainers.  How has this come about?  We used to be a country that believed in the dignity of the common man.  People used to set goals and work hard to achieve their dreams.

The term “entitlement” refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit.  Marci Hamilton wrote “This is the Age of Entitlement. I do not mean entitlement only in the belief that one is entitled to a government handout. I also mean entitlement in the simpler sense of the sense of the belief that one deserves to get exactly what one wants – regardless of the law and despite the public good. Four examples drawn from recent legal controversies illustrate this point. In each, the law made clear what the right thing to do was. But in each, the culprit insisted on doing something else – something they insisted that, illegal or not, they were entitled to do” She goes on to site court cases pertaining to Entitlement to Free Music, Entitlement to have Religious belief to Dominate a Courthouse, Entitlement to Special Treatment for Religious Institutions, and The Catholic Church’s Entitlement to Preserve its Power and Prestige.. Marci A. Hamilton is the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva U

America is becoming a narcissistic society.  Many expect preferential treatment because they think they are special.  They expect their government to be their mommy.  Look at the chart below.  I can’t verify its accuracy, but it speaks to how the government is encouraging Americans to expect to be taken care of.

Is there a solution to reverse this trend that stifles the human spirit?  I think that the solution lies in instilling the belief of personal responsibility, government fiscal responsibility and moral values.  This needs to be taught at home, school and religious facility.  We must lead our children by example.  When they see us turn our back on the hand outs, only then will they learn that entitlement ethics are wrong.




In past generations, meals were taken at the kitchen or dining room table.  Meal time the family gathered together ate and interacted with each other.  Although most families probably weren’t like the Cleavers on “Leave it to Beaver” this idea did represent American culture.  Now the kitchen table has found other uses, in my case to fold laundry or clip coupons.  Meal time has changed.  In our popular culture, where television is a staple many meals are eaten in the living room while watching a favorite show or because the parent works, a quick detour through McDonalds provides supper.

Is this current trend good?  What does reseach say about this?  According to recent surveys, less than half of the families in the United States actually sit down to a meal on a regular basis. Yet, studies report that family meals are strongly related to the development of adolescent mental health and stability. A Harvard Medical School study found “that there are nutritional, as well as social, emotional and academic advantages that occur in children when families share meals together.

Why are family mealtimes important?

  • A sense of belonging and mutual trust is fostered when adults and children eat together and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Family meals provide opportunities for adults to model table manners and nutritious food choices.
  • Eating together encourages adult-child communication skills such as listening patiently to each other and expressing one’s opinion in a respectful manner.
  • Mealtimes provide a setting for moral and intellectual discussion where family values are shared.
  • Since children thrive on routines, family meals foster a sense of security and stability.
  • When children help with meals, they learn skills such as shopping, setting the table, preparing food, serving food, and cleaning up.
  • Family meals can foster family traditions and enhance cultural heritages”. http://www.kellybear.com/ParentTips/ParentTip7.html

So I guess I better get that laundry put away and dust off the dishes.

Hope and Healing

Last night a new television series began.  OWN (Opray Winfrey Network) aired the first program of “Our America” hosted by Lisa Ling.  The show’s preview states that it will take an in-depth look at some controversial issues in today’s United States.  Lisa immerses herself in the lives of people she meets, providing accounts of experiences and insight on contentious issues.  The purpose of the series is to challenge viewers to understand different views and question what they think is true.   The first episode dealt with “faith healers”.

Lisa stated that 50% of Americans believe in miracles.  Faith healing is the fastest growing movement in America.  The program was centered on Morning Star Ministries and one of its evangelists–Todd Bentley.  Mr. Bentley has a controversial past which he freely admits, but he says that because of it he is able to heal.  The Ministry has a university where young people study to become healers.  Most of those interviewed had suffered mental and physical abuse and believed that the ministry gave them hope, and they were chosen to be healers.  Participants in the conference paid about $600. The program followed the story of Steve, a paraplegic with brain injury.  He firmly believed that we would be able to walk out of the conference.  His doctor was interviewed and he stated that the medical world had nothing further to offer Steve, but that he did believe in miracles, and that hope was good.  He said that without hope he had seen patients die.  Mr. Bentley preached about the power of God but said that doubt could prevent healing.  Unfortunately, Steve wasn’t able to walk out of the conference, but he stated that “it just wasn’t me time”.  His faith remained strong.  Ling concluded the program with the thought that she had seen lives that had been changed and believed that faith empowered.

Reader comments were about equally divided between those who believe and those who don’t.      Here are a few examples:

rhonda1951: Amazing choice of venue! I am a believer in MIIRACLES because I had lumps disappear from my breast during a worship service years ago. On the other side, my husband had an incurable disease, TN, the suicide disease, and we prayed and believed for his healing for 12 difficult years. His symptoms left, not supernaturally, but through a doctor practicing science.

anneliese66 : I believe that the mind is a very powerful part of ourselves. Whatever we put OUR mind to.. anything is possible. I am not sure that God has anything to do with it. Why then does God allow all the horrible things that happen in this world? I believe in the power of our minds and ourselves.

Uni: TO THOSE WHO DONT BELIEVE IN MIRACLES: First of all people like erikcorona do not believe in miracles because you are not a Christian, and you therefore do not understand that God calls people into different ministries

erikcorona:  I didn’t say I don’t believe in miracles. I stated that I don’t believe God uses “faith healers” to regrow limbs or heal people of any illnesses. Benny Hinn is a con-artist who has been exposed several times by investigative news reports by Inside Edition, Dateline NBC, and 60 Minutes.

Of all the comments I read, this last one sums up a very good reason for watching this program.

missyreads : I have my DVR set to watch this show I am looking at OWN to help me with my level of tolerance. Everyone has this thing and different levels of understanding right and wrong. My right or wrong might not be yours and I might not understand your behavior but tolerance must be present and I’m looking to magnify mine. Laverne

This program provided a look at a segment of popular culture that ignites much debate.  It gave an inside glimpse of actual healing meetings, but left it up to the viewer to make their own conclusions.

Looking for Love in Different Places

How things have changed!!  My mom told me that in her day, that would be the olden days, that you found someone to date at actual places, like your neighborhood, or the church choir, or even at the library.  Can you imagine?  My generation has found a new way—online dating.  Check this out.

In 2002, a Wired magazine article forecast that, “Twenty years from now, the idea that someone looking for love without looking for it online will be silly, akin to skipping the card catalog to instead wander the stacks because ‘the right books are found only by accident.’ Serendipity is the hallmark of inefficient markets and the marketplace of love, like it or not, is becoming more efficient.”

The role of social networking services in online dating has been explored in a book dedicated to the subject. Jonathanbishop.com “ The findings of the study reveal that the online dating services driven by subscriptions offer the least amount of social networking opportunities, as they often only utilize the personal homepage genre of online community, which only makes them effective for the bonding and encoding stage of the relationship. The dating services modeled on the free-at-the-point-of-use model scored much higher as many of them utilized the Circle of Friends social networking method and a wider number of online community genres. The highest scoring dating service was Facebook, which uses the personal homepage genre, the message board genre, the weblog and directory genre, as well as utilizing the Circle of Friends.”

Online dating is so popular that movies have been made revolving around this concept; to name a couple:  You’ve Got Mail, a 1998 film in which the two protagonists conduct a relationship entirely over email before meeting each other; Because I Said So, a 2007 film in which a mother creates an online dating profile for her daughter.

There is a down side for this popular method of meeting people.  Online predators find online dating sites especially attractive, because such sites give them an unending supply of new targets of opportunity for Internet fraud.  A well known criminal nicknamed the “Craig List Killer” found his victims this way.

I asked myself, why is online dating so popular?  Several reasons came to mind: we are so busy that we don’t take time to socialize; we like the anonymity of using the computer—you can always just click the person away; or perhaps it has to do with self image—we can be the person we dream to be.  This reminds me of Brad Paisley’s song “Online”.  Watch and enjoy.

This day in History

February 7, 1935 was a day that changed how Americans play.  Charles Darrow is credited with making the US Atlantic City variation of Monopoly that is commonly used today. He became unemployed in the 1929 crash and decided to sell copies of the game. He then brought the game to Parker Brothers, but they rejected it. So, with the help of one of his friends that was a printer, Darrow was able to sell 5,000 handmade sets of Monopoly. The demand kept growing and growing and the two could not keep up with the orders. So onFebruary 7, 1935, Darrow brought the game to Parker Brothers again and they bought the rights from Darrow and started manufacturing the slightly updated version that we know today.  The game is named after the economic concept of monopoly, the domination of a market by a single entity.  Monopoly is an icon of American Pop Culture, a picture of our commerce, and a lesson in capitalism.  The game is sold internationally.  In 2008, Hasbro released Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition. This world edition features top locations of the world. The locations were decided by votes over the Internet.  Playing this game introduces the world to our world of free trade in a non threatening way.  But, thinking back to how we played it as kids, I certainly was threatened by my brother. Could it be because I was the banker?  Humm.

Step by Step, Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 by Penelope Coventry

microsoft sharepoint designer 2010Step by Step, Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 by Penelope Coventry is truly step by step.  It takes you through each process from start to finish using clear and detailed instructions. The sample files were really useful and easy to import. The screen shots that are inserted thought the steps gave an excellent visual reference point for the steps that you were performing.

The books detailed step by step instructions will make for an excellent reference point on those occasions that you just can’t remember how to perform a task.  The chapters of the book are broken up in a way that they flow from one chapter to the next.  For each task that you are learning and at the beginning of the chapters a detailed explanation of the task/content is given in terms that anyone can understand.  The authors approach on having the user go through the exercises to learn the steps was a good way to reinforce the content of the book.    I would recommend this book for anyone that is using SharePoint Designer.