Ten Things You Are Not Entitled To

(And your parents should have told you about)

Written by David Dylan

When I wrote Things My Father ShouldHave Told Me As A Child and Things Your Mother Should HaveTold You As A Child the fit did, indeed, hit the shan.

Pretty much every woman I'd ever hadcontact with thought it was about her. Women I'd never even met feltthey should set me straight. But, funnily enough, parents mailed meto thank me. Several parents let me know they were going to maketheir kids read the articles.

He said WHAT? Terminator mode ON!

What amazed me though, was how manywomen really did think it was about them, and not 'them' as inwomankind, but them.

Why was this? Why is it, in general, that people seem to think I have it in for thempersonally when I participate in a debate or simply post something onFacebook they disagree with? Why is it all so personal?

It's quite simple;

I've come to the conclusion that these people have been taught allthrough their childhood that they were entitled little brats. Andthey grew up to be entitled big brats. It's personal because if itweren't that would mean I didn't care about them personally.If I say something they feel is objectionable it's either aimeddirectly at them or it's ignoring their feelings. Don't Irealize they were going to read that and feel bad?

Well, I guess Imissed that memo. So, to any and all persons who said something likethat to me, ever: I'm truly sorry.

I just didn't realize you could read.

Now, for anyone still here, without further ado, here are ten things you are notentitled to.

1. You are not entitled to being special

As a child your parents would make youplay with your little sibling or that weird kid. And when you werenot included in some game, you turned on the waterworks and soon someadult would comfort you and tell you that those other kids justdidn't see how great a person you were. All the while you were actingquite un-great. You were being egocentric, spoiled and a brat.

Kid dressed in black victorian dress
And I only proposed we'd play Cowboys and Indians ... and SCALP all Cowboys ...

That is the definition of 'child'.

Children learn to separate the outside world and the inside world,then they learn that the outside world is real, and then they learnhow to cope with said outside world. It's a process of stages. Whenyou are four, you can't be blamed. When you are twenty-four you aresupposed to have learned.

There's nothing wrong with building achild's confidence. And sometimes the kids who didn't want to playwith you actually were the ones who were being the dicks. But waymore likely is that you werebeing a dick in some way, and their rejection was supposedto be the way you learned where your universe ended and theirs began.Parents should tell their kids a lot more often that if they wantother kids to be nice to them, they should be nice to other kids.

The cold, hard, truth:

In the really big grownup world, there's no adults who are going to make theother kids play with you. I can't tell you how many people complainto me about how other people 'treat them badly' while really allthese other people are doing is not being their buddies. People leavetheir Facebook groups, people don't talk to them at festivals, and soon, and so on.

Well, guess what; there are a lotof people in this world and sometimes you simply aren'tinteresting enough to get pastthe 'face in the crowd' status, because considering someone 'afriend' takes work. It takes effort. Effort is a limited resource.That's not because you aren’t interesting but simply becausethere's millions of other people just as interesting and the peopleyou are focusing on have their ball-books full.

But if you want to stand a chance, there's only one advice I can give;figure out in what way you are being a dick.

Andstop it.

2. You are not entitled to specialconsideration for how you feel

When people point out ways I have beena dick (yes, it happens to me, too, you are not even special in thatregard), sometimes they are right and I try to swallow my pride andtake the implied advice on board. Most of the time, however, it's acase of someone asserting their authority over me. Or trying to, inany case.

Little girl dressed as princess
Well, mommy does SAY I am a princess... what are you, a king or something?

Some complaints really boil down to meexisting in their world. I'm different, and they can't stand it. Iget this most, not from the archetype intolerant Fundie -in fact,many of those have been amazingly tolerant, in my experience. Youjust have to separate 'having an opinion' from 'not respecting myopinion' because respect does not equal agreement- but from the'alternative' types.

You see; they are all unique. In thesame clothes. The same pink hair and with the same tattoos.

When I point out that their reasoningis akin to people objecting to them based on their alternative looksthe fight is on. That's different! Well, why? Because they arespecial.

It is not fine toobject to their chosen uniform because it expresses their 'trueself'. But it is fine to object to a person who is different,be it a Christian, a not-Liberal, and so on, regardless of howrespectfully -if at all- they expressed their opinion. The objectionis not the opinion, their objection is based on them feelingfrustrated that people who dress, act, look, or think different existin their world.

The cold, hard,truth:

It is notyour world, and you should have learned that sometime around agefour.

But most of all; your feelings don'tget to push mine aside. By demanding that I be shut up, you aretrying to assert authority based on 'entitlement' and you are notgoing to get it.

3. You are not entitled to being agreed with

I'm a tough debater, but I'm alwaysrespectful. (Note, that's not the same as 'nice'.) But severalgenerations now have learned all through childhood that 'expressingtheir feelings' was what mattered, not being able to formulate acoherent thought. Attacking 'how they feel' about any subject, be itwearing fur (always a good one for 'feelings'), or politics, orvaccines... is being perceived by them as attacking them. It'swhat defines who they are. Correcting their facts, or your deity ofchoice help you, asking them for the logical underpinnings of theirbeliefs beyond 'it feels right' strips them of the warm glow of 'Iexpressed me, I did good' and exposes that there's nothingunderneath.

Baby looking confused
A moral defense of my opinion on poopy diapers? Wha?

Their complaint boils down to 'what hesaid made me feel bad'. Recently I got one that was so unashamedly ofthis ilk that even I couldn't believe it at first. Paraphrasing: 'Hetalks smart, and that makes me feel dumb, make him stop.'

The cold, hard, truth:

Here's the deal: you don't read what Iwrite and I don't make you feel dumb. It's quite simple, really.

Or, you know, you do what I did toentitle me to my opinion: Ispent valuable time and effort reading, listening, watching andlearning. I can't help it that you don't know your facts or that youare incapable of basic rhetoric.

It'snot your fault. Skool didn't put it there. But me being 'smarter'than you does not make you dumber the same way that me being talldoesn't make you shorter. You are still as dumb.

4. You are not entitled to people reading your mind

Here's the scenario; in an onlinedebate which was, in itself, quite unsavoury some girl whom I don'tknow and who doesn't know me made a remark using the Dutch equivalentof 'sluts' to describe the people being talked about.

I responded to the thread, in essencepointing out that what it was expressing was a mob-mentality, and Ididn't like it. I think this girl was also saying something similar.Something like 'so slut a has a tiff with slut b, why should we getinvolved'.

As an aside I remarked that I object tousing the word 'slut' as it's a term specifically designed todescribe women who exhibit behaviors that we tolerate or even admirein males. It is a term, therefore, like 'nigger', intended to keepwomen 'in their place'.

That's maybe a bit pedantic and whyshould I lecture her on that? Well, in the context of a thread thatwas escalating towards full-blown cyber-stalking terror I felt itright to object to the entire tone, including that.

The girl complained to the moderators(who, in my opinion, should have better spent their time shuttingdown the thread and kicking out the worst offenders) that I insultedher by not assuming she meant'slut' as a term of endearment. She even called her cats 'sluts'...I, therefore, hurt her feelings by taking her words by the dictionarydefinition and not the definition that clearly existed only in herhead.

The cold, hard, truth:

Dear bitch... Oh, sorry, didn't you know that inside my head 'bitch' means 'nice person'? How dareyou assume otherwise!

5. You are not entitled to special treatment

Once in a while, without me using drugson them or anything, women do make it into my bed. And if I reallylike them, my life. Unfortunately women come with parents. One setwas particularly dense, in the way only baby-boomers of better thanaverage wealth can be.

They moved through life bluffing. Ifsome person, institution or business did something they didn't likethey would write a sternly-worded letter or make a few indignantphone calls. Maybe threatened to sue. Well, this worked, so why not.But they confused people not wanting the hassle with knowing 'theirrights'.

When the relationship broke up, theytried the same tactic on me. But I had a real lawyer on my side. Theyspent two years trying to browbeat me into accepting a deal whichthey thought was fair to their daughter. They were so sure of their'rights'. And the actual fact was that I only fought them on itbecause in the cold hard really-real world their 'rights' would haveput their daughter into insurmountable debt.

You know the type: 'You should give memy money back on this iPhone I don't want anymore now that the v5 isout! I know my rights!'

The cold, hard, truth:

You are not better than me because youmay have money. You are not better than me because you can bluffharder. You have no special rights just because you feel entitled toa certain treatment. And if this special treatment means myinterests have to take second row to yours, well... bring it onhippie kid. But most of all; because you make it real inside yourhead does not mean it's true.

Dubious looking kid
I don't care what you say. I have a right to another cookie. Because of the law.

Youare not in any wayspecial just becauseyour parents and kindergarten teacher told you to love yourself.There's a fine line between self-esteem and blinding arrogance. AndI'm better at arrogance than you. Don't dare me.

6. You are not entitled to people sticking around

Some friends think I'm a good listener.This is because I have only 40% hearing left. I nod and smile a lot,is all I'm saying. But when I can't escape hearing whatever it isthey feel boohoo about, it's usually someone not sticking around.Sometimes the egotistical asshole even diedon them.

Whatcan I say to them? I'm still here? Only just...

The cold, hard, truth:

Who the hell do you think you are? Areyou so special that people just not caring enough to take specialmeasures to be around you is an insult in itself? Buck. The. Fuck.Up. People change. Their interests change. They move. And yes, someassholes even die.

Kids playing in a play house
Fuck you and your pink fucking playhouse, I'm off to find a bar.

Find new people. You know, by takingspecial measures to be around otherpeople. Sitting in my rickety chair crying about it won't help much.In fact, it's quite likely I secretly wanted you out of my house anhour ago. Or sex. Probably sex. Otherwise I probably would be tellingyou this instead of trying to appear understanding. What do you wantme to do? Force themto come back? I'm certainly notgoing to reinforce your delusion that you are somehow so special thatpeople not calling is an insult.

Callthem. Or better; find new people. Oh, and I hope you brought condoms,I'm all out.

7. You are not entitled to other people's stuff

This week another bank was failing. Andour enlightened government bailed them out. They then 'asked' allother banks to chip in to the tune of one billion each.But, that's our money. It's money we put into those banks, eitherthrough a bank account or as shareholders.

Throughmy photography hobby I met a woman with a doll of a daughter who wason government assistance because of 'mental' issues. But she was wellenough to party every weekend. She was well enough to model. In mybook that means you are well enough to work. I unfriended her simplybecause I could no longer look at how she was screwing up her kid.

Peopleare quite eager to claim that 'they' should help, usually thegovernment and usually through subsidies of some sort, their favoritecause. Whether it's contraceptives for uninsured teens or stray dogsin Uruguay.

The cold, hard, truth:

Whetherit's another bailout or some lofty cause, or your income without youhaving a job, this is not your money. Despitewhat your Steinerist teachers and free-love parents taught you; youare not more special than others and you have no claim on otherpeople's money. And no, the loftiness of the goal does not changethat one iota.

Thatdoes not mean I don't support your cause. It means that I know thedifference between 'desirable' and 'a right'. It is desirablethat you can support yourself,it is desirable thatstray dogs get neutered and cared for. It is not desirableto bail out a failing bank, but hey, you can think so.

It isnot a right. Other people worked for that money. Youcan attempt to persuade them to part with some of it for your cause,you cannot ask the government to take it from them for you. That iscalled stealing, and stealing does not become right because you havethis weird moral high ground over me. Which you don't have. Becauseyou are not special. You are not entitled.

Got it? No? Didn'tthink so. It's still true.

8. You are not entitled to stuff, period.

The housing bubble... we all heardabout it. The credit crunch... people buying stuff on credit eventhough they couldn't really affordthem. Somehow we've got it in our heads that we are entitledto stuff.

I earnwell over the median. I see people with half my income going onholiday three times a year, driving a car (any car), owning nicethings... now I don't say I don't own nice things. My photographyequipment is insured around what for some is a decent year's income.But I saved up for that stuff. Every. Single. Penny. My one-bedroomis a shambles and I certainly can't afford a car.

So, how are they magically different?


The cold, hard, truth:

You are not 'owed' this stuff. You arenot 'owed' anything. And you are not getting that line of creditbecause the world 'owes' you 'stuff', or even food. And once you getthat line of credit, guess what, you are in fact owing.And owing makes you a prisoner.

Don't do it.

9. You are not entitled to protection

For one; all those threats we face? Yeah, we brought them upon ourselves. Muslim terrorists on the wholewere fighting either Russian invaders or their own governments. Then we butted in. We brought thefight to them and now we act all indignant that they brought it rightback, their own way.

Thatdoesn't mean they are nice people. Quite the contrary.

It'sjust that you can't walk up to the bully on the playground, challengethem, and then act all upset because they kick your delicate, morallyrighteous, ass.

The cold, hard, truth:

We made ourselves a target. Maybe, you know, we should, you know, stopthe fuck doing it?

Ofcourse it gives a nice warm glow to not stand by and let injusticeexist. But really; has it helped?

You want to do something? Send money to the local good guys.

But now that we are a target, pleasedon't trample all over my liberty for your sense of security. Rightor wrong, there are people over there fighting these wars in ournames. These people deserve some respect. Your halloween-uniform andpredilection for stripping travelers naked does not.

And if you are some bar-room expert or soccer mom with a broken record somewhere inside that goes 'for thechildren', especially if you think you know all about the issues...please, just fuck off.

10. You are not entitled to life, liberty OR happiness

Some people think that merely becausethey were born on this planet, they are owed every effort fromeverybody else to not make this (often unfortunate) state of affairscease to exist. Many, many, people think they are owedliberty, and of course by that they mean theirliberty, even if it tramples all over that of others. And all mediaseems to scream at us all day that being 'happy' is normal. And ofcourse to most people if it's 'the norm' that equates to a 'right'.

The cold, hard, truth:

Whileyou have a right not to be killed, no-one owes you any life-savingeffort. Starving children in Africa aren't owed aid. Terminally illpeople aren't owed care. If you smoke a trans-fat laden sixpack aday, you are not owed a coronary bypass.

Nofood equals death, but few people will agree with you if you statethat a baker owes you their bread.

Everything in life has to be earned andthis includes stuff that you really, really, need. If you buy an iPodand not food... well... great life choices there buddy. But I don'towe you food that I worked for. Hey, if you are really bad off andcan't afford food, well, you know, I might share my bread with you,if you ask nicely. But I don't owe you. It's all about desirableversus rightsagain.

You are just not that special. You aresimply not better than me.And if I give you my bread, I have no bread, and then you'd have togive me bread...

And I certainly do not owe you liberty.

Nobodycan owe you liberty because it's something that can't be given. It can onlybe taken away.

And it's being taken away because of the entitled, arrogant, self-servingand frankly, immoral, behaviors and attitudes described above.

You want liberty? You can't have itkiddo, if you want it you'll have to fight for it, defend it andcreate it yourself. And it starts with taking responsibility for your own life.

As soon as you start looking to othersto owe you anything, you've given it up. You've become their slave(because owed or not, if you need to get shit from others, others canwithhold shit from you) and you've become an oppressor, because ifyou feel others owe you, you have made them subject to your desires.

Stop it.