In my entitled opinion, the most entitled to their entitlement are consumers and the truth is that we are all the most entitled, because we are all consumers. Consequently, as consumers, we are nothing but entitled and just like every other red blooded consumer, we believe that we are entitled to consume what we want, when we want, how we want and why we want without care or concern who our consuming affects or what are the effects of our consuming.
As consumers, we believe they we are entitled to options. We believe we are entitled to eat what we want to eat, drink what we want to drink, watch what we want to watch, listen to who we want to listen to, buy what we want to buy, give what we want to give, waste what we want to waste and live how we want to live. Even more, we are entitled to say we are “something other than a consumer” without our words determining or changing our consumer lifestyle or differentiating ourselves from any other consumer with different political, religious, moral or philosophical consuming options.
Of course, there are consumers with different consuming options. There are consumers with a Christian option who are entitled to pray to Jesus and still hate both their neighbors and their enemies, or worse…be indifferent and pretend to not see their neighbors or their struggle.
There are consumers with their patriotic options who are entitled to be an American and step on their neighbors back and take advantage of their misfortune to get ahead.
There are also consumers who are not only entitled to their options, but they believe with all their spirit, heart, mind and body that they have the right to do what they want to do, regardless of how it affects their neighbors, their communities or their world.
Don’t believe me? Then I dare you to get in the way of a consumer’s way of being entertained or of doing what they want to do. Deny a consumer the right to consume, then there will be hell to pay. Cut a consumer off in traffic and we explode. Mess up our coffee order and hell hath no fury, If Facebook or the internet goes down, then we are livid. And, I dare you to not serve a consumer in a manner that is not well pleasing in our sight.
We live at a time when the vast majority of the world believes that we are entitled to consume whatever, whenever and however we want, and our entitlement to consume has resulted in a world that is just as sick, diseased and malnourished as we are. We are literally sucking the life out of our planet, because we have reached epidemic levels of consuming and entitlement.
We don’t have to look at climate change to see a dying world. Rather, we just have to look at ourselves. Diet-related disease and sickness are at epidemic levels in adults and kids.The top killer is heart disease. We are literally consuming ourselves to death. Why?
Is our entitlement to consume whatever we want, when we want and how we want distracting us from our responsibilities and opportunities to be healers, restorers, redeemers, givers and receivers of life, love, truth and compassion?
Has our entitlement blinded us from The Truth? We live at a critical time that requires us to be honest and to ask ourselves some hard questions about who We are, how We have lived, how We are living and how We have real responsibility for our health, our neighbor’s health, our community’s health and our world’s health.
The truth is that we are not entitled to live as consumers. We are not entitled to talk about how entitled everyone else is. Sure, some people may think they are entitled to a free lunch, but do we think we are entitled to super size ours whenever we feel like it and destroy our health in the process and then have the cost of our sickness and disease paid for by everyone else.
Do we dare attempt to pull the speck of entitlement out of our neighbors eye, when we refuse to pull the log out of our own? Instead of talking about everyone else’s entitlement, how about we start talking about our responsibility and duty to love ourselves, our neighbors and our world well.
But… how do we stop dividing ourselves in the us and them categories?
The answer is we stop talking and we start loving. Love is the only thing that will transform our entitled hearts and set us free to participate in the resurrection and renewal of ourselves, our relationships, our communities and our world.
When we take on the responsibility and the duty to love well, then we will stop talking about entitlement and we will stop trying to fill ourselves with things that will never fill us up, and we will create the space to be and live as we are designed as receivers and givers of life, love, truth, beauty and mercy.
We are not entitled to the gift of today, air, water, food, life, results, kindness, love, respect, nature, freedom, peace, patience, goodness, forgiveness, mercy, faith, hope or life. These are all gifts that we receive and give. Today is a gift. The world is a gift. Your neighbor is a gift. Nature is a gift. Your life is a gift. You are a gift.
We are not entitled to these gifts!!
And the only way to remember this truth is by creating the space to receive and give God’s love to remember who you are and how you are naturally designed to be interconnected, interrelated and interdependent on all people, all things and all places. Yes, we can participate in transforming our entitled hearts by loving. In fact, this is way we can participate in transforming our world. In loving, we will remember who we are and how we are designed to be helpers, healers, friends and neighbors. In loving, we will be the gifts of love that God designed us to be.