Ten weeks and I’ve managed to write a post for every one of the Pagan Blog Project weeks.
Feeling special is good, but sometimes it leads to another space. If you feel too special, you might come to believe that you have some inherent right to be special, or for others to consider you special and do whatever you want.
And that, my dear readers, is a little “e” word we call ENTITLEMENT.
Good old Merriam-Webster defines entitlement thusly:
1. a:the state or condition of being entitled : right
b: a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract
2: a government program providing benefits to members of a specified group; also : funds supporting or distributed by such a program
3: belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges
I come across a great deal of entitlement in my various communities. Some people think they should be able to do whatever they want to do spiritually, and get upset when someone tells them no, or they find out that there are prerequisites to whatever it is they’ve already decided they’re entitled to have. Some people feel that because they have paid money for teaching, they should receive as much teaching as they want, whenever they want it, without regard for their own effort toward living the teachings. Others think that “information should be free” and that this somehow translates into that someone – of course, that person is rarely identified – should be giving them whatever information they please, right now or sooner.
Some people extend their sense of entitlement into other communities, other people, or even the gods themselves. How many people do you know who think that because they lead a good life or they pray or give enough offerings, that the gods owe them something? Or complain that whatever community or teacher they are part of doesn’t give them enough of whatever they want, or not fast enough, or not the way they wanted it? And how many people are bitching about how (insert group/teacher/god here) is unfair or wrong, because they didn’t get (insert result here)? It’s just so unfair!
Get over it.
The universe owes you nothing. It owes me nothing. It owes nothing to anyone. It doesn’t even owe the gods, so what makes mere mortals think that they are entitled to anything at all?
Being a good person, being part of a community, having a teacher, sharing your resources, having wonderful gods, even asking nicely: not a one of these things entitles you to anything at all, unless it’s been explicitly stated that doing certain things will get X results. So yes, if the publisher took your $50 for a book that was promised but which you never received, then by all means, call a lawyer. And if you have a binding contract with someone who is supposed to be supplying you with something and isn’t delivering, then yes, you’ve got grounds for complaint.
But remember: there are no binding contracts on life itself.
The only thing that you’re entitled to is death, when it’s your time.
And nobody seems to want that at all.