Saturday, January 22, 2011
1.The act or process of entitling.
2.The state of being entitled.
3.A government program that guarantees and provides benefits to a particular group:
So I've been thinking a lot lately, about life, adoption, work, and all the craziness that is floating around in the world lately. (Can you all smell the smoke?) As I read a lot of stories, I find myself thinking over and over again...."When did we get so entitled as a society?" At what point did we transform our thinking from "I owe something to the world!" to "The world owes me!" So I started researching it a little, as a general subject, and found some pretty interesting information regarding Entitlement. Check it out...
From Suite 101
People are very aware of their entitlements, some real, some imagined. Whenever a dispute of any sort arises, people are quick to insist on their entitlements, but you seldom hear about the obligations that entitlements carry with them.
Too many people claim real and imagined entitlement to all sorts of things without giving a thought to corresponding obligations.
Every entitlement carries an obligation; even if it is only the obligation to NOT exercise the entitlement when it harms others. If obligations are ignored, entitlement soon deteriorates to just what you can get away with.
Entitlement signals a rejection of the very DNA of America. Our national genetic code, at least at one time, was patterned on respect for the common man and woman. It was sequenced by a belief in the dignity of human life that's not the consequence of having, but of being.
In the end, it's the entitled who, however rich, are truly poor. Instead of knowing life as a gift, life turns into something that's taken for granted -- or worse, begrudged. That's real poverty, and no sense of entitlement can alleviate it.
In my opinion, that's a lot to think about. It made me stop and think, that's for sure. Then, for giggles and grins, I googled "Entitlement in Adoption" since that's the area this blog covers (and the area in life I see it most) and can I just say WOW! There are tons of things to read, but one common thread rang over and over throughout the articles I came across.
Many "Adoption Professionals" (a term I use so very lightly) insist that entitlement in Adoptive Parents is necessary and essential in developing relationships with their adopted children. That worrying about what the child will later encounter in life regarding sense of self actually DETERS the required sense of entitlement. That by empathizing or being overly concerned for the Birthmother's loss will INHIBIT the sense of bonding with the child that Adoptive parents must learn to feel entitled to.
And you know what's even more interesting? I put the dictionary definition of "Entitlement" at the top of this post for everyone to review. But when you use the word in a sentence that includes adoption, the meaning changes. Read on, to see more of what the "professionals" have to say.
Apparently, in adoption circles, the definition of Entitlement goes through a fantastic metamorphosis. Birthmother's are not allowed to feel entitlement. Adoptee's (who in my opinion are the ones who should feel this the most since they are the ones who had the most taken from them) are not allowed to feel entitlement either...ESPECIALLY in regards to things such as original birth certificates, and family origin, as well as answers regarding their stories straight from the mouth of the mothers who started them. In these instances, Entitlement is a bad word and should never be used.
But when you get over into the land of Adoptive parents, the word changes. In AP circles, Entitlement's definition changes. It then means, "Developing a sense that a child "belongs" in the family, even though she wasn't born into it." or "Entitlement, to parents, means that we feel whole in our parenting." or my personal favorite..."Developing a sense of entitlement is an ongoing process of growth rather than a single task identifiably completable, and the success of an adoption is related to the degree to which this sense of entitlement has been acquired by each adoptive family member rather than to its being seen as achieved or not achieved."
I think it's fantastic that adoption is a magic wand that can change the meaning of a word. It's almost as cool as how an amended birth certificate can completely change who a person is. (And that my friends is sarcasm.)
There are lots of great tools to use to build sense of entitlement too, in fact these articles were full of great one liners...here's a few gems:
"I am only doing what I feel is in the best interest of my child"
"I wanted it to be easier than this, so I am going to stop worrying about your pain and focus on our family. That's what you said you wanted."
and my personal "favorite", I found buried deep, deep in the Internet,
"If the court says that it is "as if this child were born to me" then his birthmother is going to have to accept that. The law is the law."
Anyways, just some food for thought. We (me included) all suffer from the disease of entitlement. Here's to hoping we find a cure...