Yesterday, my friends, I took some time to complete the registration of my business, an exercise which should have been done earlier this year, but, for a number of different reasons, including my own fear of failure and rejection, I dragged my feet until the very last moment.
In my country, the process to register a business can sometimes be a bit complicated, depending on the type of business you propose to register. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to follow the legal route and do things the right way from the beginning, particularly if you're in it for the long haul. Because we are a small country, word gets around fast, and it is not good PR for your business to be shut down even before the doors are opened.
And so yesterday, I made it in to the office accepting applications for registration, and my application was accepted moments after the officials had announced their close-off for the year. I am extremely grateful for their flexibility and accommodation, and it was not lost on me that humility played a key role in ensuring that I got a foot in the door just as it was being closed. I strongly suspect that had I been arrogant and confrontational, I would have had a completely different experience altogether.
On my way out, after processing my application, I was sure to thank the officials who accommodated me for their kindness. One never knows when my feet may turn this way again.
My friends, have you ever had the experience where your attitude made all the difference? Where things either worked out or didn't because of your perspective and response to a situation? I have. And I'll be honest, taking the route of feeling entitled or hard done by when things don't go you way hasn't worked well for me.
I saw this quote yesterday which was attributed to an unknown author, and I really liked it. It said, "A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You won't get anywhere until you change it." In business, this is key. In fact, it's key to any transaction where there are two or more parties, and particularly where there is competition.
In an article published by the Cleveland Jewish News, Rabbi Mendel Jacob notes, "Gratitude is riches. Entitlement is poverty." The Rabbi makes the point that learning to be grateful for simple things and to see blessings, helps us to lead wholesome and meaningful lives. It's all about perspective at the end of the day.
In a previous post, I spoke about shifting the head of my bed from the North to the South and about decluttering physically and mentally. These were all symbolic acts for me as part of a deeper mental shift of perspective. In this life, I have learned, I am owed nothing, not even the air that I breathe. Everything therefore, every single experience that I have have been fortunate to have is a gift and a blessing, simply because life itself is. And so, it's given me a completely different perspective on entitlement.
So, I follow rap, hip hop, R&B and soul, in fact I follow music in general, and I tend to follow up sometimes on social media postings from persons whose work I enjoy. And so, recently, I was scrolling across platforms, catching up on the news of the day, and I came across a post where Trini-American queen of rap, Nicki Minaj was expressing her frustration over the fact that fellow rappers, displeased by her decision to extend support to others, were being catty and posting subliminals on social media in a blatant display of entitlement because they were not the ones selected to feature on her song. Of course, one may take a position about the way Minaj chose to handle and communicate her frustration, and that can be an entire conversation altogether that we may debate over, but staying on theme, this post proposes to zoom in only on her concern about entitlement.
Minaj's point of view in this instance was that she did not owe the right of a feature to any fellow rapper. And she had hoped that those she had supported in the past would likewise be supportive to others rather than be offended and feel entitled.
Situations like these are not unique to the music industry. They exist in all spheres of life, beginning with the Biblical story of Cain and Abel.
In our context, for example, on this platform, we are provided with a space to blog for free, interact with each other, share thoughts, learn from each other, and we are provided with additional support from the administrators of the platform in the form of a bot that tips our work. Some days we are tipped more than others. Sometimes a few days may pass before we are visited.
A sense of entitlement arises when we think we are owed a visit or when we critically scrutinize the writings and earnings of others, not to learn or engage, but because that sense of entitlement spurs us on to make comparisons and to determine what we think we should be tipped or, worse, what we think the others deserve. But again, we are owed nothing.
And so, here's a shift in perspective- the space on this platform to network, to meet new people, to showcase one's writings, etc., is already a blessing for which we should be grateful. The crypto tip from our network and the platform is the cherry on top.
In the Psychology Today article, The Delusion of Meritocracy and the Culture of Entitlement, Ramana Durvasula, Ph.D. describes entitlement as "the assumption that a person deserves special treatment, is exempt from the rules, and should not be held to the same standards (behavioral or otherwise) as others."
Durvasula goes one step further to describe entitlement as not simply limited to one individual and his or her outlook, but rather as an intergenerational game, "a gift that keeps on giving". That is to say, if you are raised with a culture of believing that you are owed by the world around you, rather than appreciation and thankfulness, then this will influence the lens through which you view the world and could be the culture that you pass on.
"Some may unlearn it. Many will just blame the world for their misfortunes and pass the legacy of entitlement forward to the next," Durvasula writes.
My question to you, my friends, is this: How would you describe your outlook? Grateful or entitled? Do you strive to nurture a spirit of gratitude for the blessings you receive daily, or are you often annoyed when you think you aren't given the support, respect, reward, etc., that you think you deserve?
I'd love to hear your views.