MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 18
Article views: 1526
Latest Badges:

View all BlueFeather's badges.

A Sense of Entitlement

10 January 2013, 07:01

The corruption in our country, the crime rate, the traffic offences, the death toll on our roads, the president spending a fortune on Nkandla, domestic violence; all shout out to me that too many South Africans are suffering from a hugely inflated sense of entitlement.  It is obviously not the only problem, but in my view it is a big part of the problem.

Many of these things happen because people are acting with an attitude of such arrogance that very little thought is spared for the people around them. When we are all sitting in a long line of rush hour traffic, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, and some dingbat in a taxi, or an expensive car charges past, on the left hand side, in the yellow line, just to push in at the front of the queue, it is because of a sense of entitlement.  It communicates the message: I think my life and my time is more important than everyone else’s and therefore I don’t have to waste my time waiting in line.  The same goes for speeding.  Then there are the taxis and their infamous antics on the road.  They might as well paint it on their vehicles: The more people I can squeeze in and get to a destination quickly, the more money I make, so I will do whatever I want.

There are many examples of traffic offences where people just have absolutely no consideration for anyone else; not their property, their time or their safety.  I am amazed to see how many people just skip red lights these days.  Ten years ago, I didn’t see this.  I am not talking about accelerating slightly when the light starts to turn yellow and it is too late to stop. I am talking about people blatantly pushing past other cars that are stopping, and sometimes already waiting, at a red traffic light, and simply flying over the crossing with total disregard for the law, but also for the lives of others. 

The obscene audacity of our corrupt politicians and officials communicate one thing to me: I am entitled to take whatever I want, or whatever I can get away with.  The same is true for other criminals.  Somewhere in their egotistical little minds they must have an inner dialogue that tells them it is okay to break into someone’s house because they are completely entitled to take the plasma screen TV.

The way that abusive men treat women reeks of their insolent ideas that they somehow have a license to show women who’s the boss by means of violence, or whatever other way they see fit, because they are stronger and entitled to having things their way.  When a man rapes a woman, it says that he feels entitled to overpower and control her, with no sympathy for her physical pain and emotional trauma.

Another frightening thing is that this attitude seems to be endorsed just about everywhere around us.  Nkandla gets upgraded to the value of more than R200 million, and then the President says in front of the whole nation that he has a bond for it.  What happens when no-one can find any proof of this bond?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing; which communicates the message that the outrageously extravagant upgrades are perfectly okay, but not only that – it is also perfectly okay to tell the nation you have a bond when you don’t.

It is endorsed when people get away with murder, when the police is as corrupt as the criminals, when the metro police accept bribes in stead of making the roads safer, and when a motorist happily pays the bribe to be off the hook. It is endorsed when ministers won't take responsibility for the failings of their departments. It is endorsed every time that someone plays the race card; it is because I am black, white, yellow, brown, orange with purple zebra stripes, that I am entitled to act the way I act.

Self-help books, motivational speakers, new-age gurus and marketing experts drive the point home even further.  They teach the sense of entitlement with all their talk about manifestations and laws of attraction and their particular way of making people believe everyone deserves abundance.  I have to be very specific here and point out that I don’t have a problem with the idea that everyone is deserving; my problem is with expecting everything for nothing.  Yes, everyone is deserving of a good education, but then study and do your part.  Everyone is deserving of a job, of basic rights and yes, of some degree of abundance, but not to have it handed to you on a silver platter because you attracted it into your life with good thoughts, or because you simply think you are entitled to it. It is all about what you put in.  If you are a waitress, then give good service and I will be the first to insist that you are entitled to good tips.  If you have any job and you do it well, then you are deserving of a raise and a promotion.  These rewards should happen on merit, and nothing else.

Maybe the inflated sense of entitlement starts in our houses.  Every parent should be teaching their children the right values, and that doesn't happen when children get whatever they want, and see adults acting in the arrogant way where nothing is important beside their own little lives.  It goes further than the 8 year old with the iPhone 5. It is about expectations; and parents often create these expectations by indulging them, whether it is about material things, a lack of discipline or about doing everything for the child.  These things teach a child to feel entitled to get whatever they want and have everything their way, and they are the children who grow up to speed on our roads with total disregard for others, and who contribute to crashing the economy by supporting their lifestyles with money they don't have.

As parents we need to teach by example.  We should show it by the smallest things, like picking up your own underwear from the bathroom floor, to putting something in when it comes to the biggest, most important things like abiding to the law, being ethical and honest, and doing everything you do to the best of your ability.  It is in the attitude you have towards others, towards laws, and towards doing the right thing.  It is about being considerate and respectful and having empathy.  It is a choice about who you want to be, and our choices create the environment we live in.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky
The R 6 million Zuma spent.

When making ludicrous decisions neither the ruling party nor any individual seem to really worry of how they are exploiting and misusing state and or taxpayers money. Read more...

4 comments 474 views
Submitted by
Thulane Che Trosky
The PWD and the billions

The Minister of Public Works in the National Assembly tabled a report that the Department which he manages, cannot account for an approximate R 35.9 billion. Read more...

4 comments 279 views
Submitted by
Adv Sphamandla Blose
Our heritage, our culture

Celebrating the importance of the Heritage month, Xhosa traditional clothing is one of the most recognised attire that symbolises the rich culture which brings its own vibrancy to our diversity. Read more...

13 comments 540 views
Submitted by
Vulcan Trekkie
What makes you African? Tackling ...

So what makes you African? Is it the colour of your skin? Is it the continent you where born on? Is it your culture, your language or something else? Read more...

28 comments 521 views
Submitted by
Kalos eidos
Obama's UN Speech. How can we bel...

His speech smacked of a New World Order bent, without resorting to the term outright, he used words and phrases like unity, collective, an interconnected world; enforce international norms and so on.  Read more...

35 comments 1148 views
Submitted by
Blind loyalty

What is it that Zuma has that instils the blind loyalty we witness from his most senior appointees in his Cabinet? Read more...

14 comments 387 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25



E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2014 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.