Why Are We So Entitled?

What makes us feel that we are so entitled?

Americans, I mean.

I’ve heard so many people talk, read so many circulated e-mails, listened to so many broadcasts about how illegal immigrants are taking over our country. And for the most part, I both completely understand and perhaps agree with these attitudes.

But today, my perspective was altered somewhat.

As I watched a group of non-English speaking laborers working in the blistering heat to finish a patch of concrete, it occurred to me that the average American would think that this work was beneath them. We are too educated, too soft, too spoiled to do that type of backbreaking labor.

But the world must go on. The cement must be finished, the crops picked, the dirt cleaned. In the absence of an American born workforce, how would the actual “work” in our country be completed?

I am no different. I have spent too many hours logged in behind a computer in an air-conditioned office to be able to do that kind of work. In a word, I’ve grown lazy – incapable of doing “the work.”

This country was built on the backs of immigrants. First a group of idealist, who felt the need to flee their home country in England in search of religious freedom were followed by masses of misanthrope undesirables from Australia’s penal colonies, were deposited on this soil we call America. And the immigrants didn’t stop with English speaking countries. Irish, Italians, Germans, Russians, Asians – they all came here for the same reason, for the freedom to work and to make an honest living.

Is it so different today?

The illegal immigration issue is a monumental problem costing taxpayers everyday to house, feed, clothe and provide healthcare for those who do not in turn pay any taxes. But again, who would do the work – the labor? A young Brandon or Ashley who have spent their lives earning an incredible education immersed in advanced technology and modern breakthroughs wouldn’t begin to consider a career choice of brawn over brain. What kid who has grown up with over-the-top gaming, graphics and social networking would ever choose to be a laborer? Especially when they mastered the Internet game at age nine?

I can’t blame them, as a parent, I wanted the very best for my children. My husband was part of a dying breed of craftsmen, who did earn a living with his hands. My children watched their father work long, very hard hours for modest pay, no insurance and no retirement. So naturally, I, and those of my generation want our children to have more – but at what price.

I’ve noticed a trend in some of today’s young people that borders on the line of little or no actual “work ethic.” They all want to make a million dollars, but not many are truly willing to work for it. Try finding a kid to mow your lawn or do any other menial labor intensive task – they will turn you down. They too have grown soft.

It is this reason that our country has allowed and perhaps even encouraged the immigrant worker – to have someone who can do the actual work that must go on for the rest of us to live as we are “accustomed.”

Don’t get me wrong; I fully believe that a person who comes to this country to benefit from all of her amenities should go through the process to become a citizen. To not just work here and then send that income to another country, but to pay taxes like the rest of America.

Although, I fear that, as in our past history, they too would become one of the entitled Americans and would feel that manual labor was beneath them.

Entitlement – it is a powerful force.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol Jeter
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 13:16:33

    Darla, I totally agree. My husband, Jerry, has been in the concrete business since he was a young boy, learning from his dad in OK. He has always had to work hard and now has several Mexican men who work for him. It has been his experience that these Mexicans are willing to work, while the white, black, etc guys are not. What’s a business owner to do? Hire the men who are willing to work, of course. And many of these workers do pay taxes. And they definitely contribute to our country. I would like to see how well we fared without all of them.

    Reply

  2. Darla Welchel
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 22:58:05

    You have a very good point. I hope you enjoy my site! Tell your friends! 🙂

    Reply

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