What is the Western Entitlement Syndrome?
If this article is a little to abstract or ambiguous, ask questions in the comments thread and I will gladly make sure you get what I’m trying to say.
In the interests of ensuring that everyone understands everyone as much as possible, I will write about something today that I have chosen to label:
The Western Entitlement Syndrome
But Mwangi What is the Western Entitlement Syndrome?
I am so glad you asked. It should be noted that this syndrome is most visible in either people who are from the West AND (this is important) people who are Westernized, i.e. anyone from a city is at risk of getting this disease. The Western entitlement syndrome is a rather complex thing that has a few parts:
It is the genuine heart felt belief that goodness and blessings are a birthright for the simple fact that I was born. This is coupled with a belief that God, the world and everything in it is on one’s side and anything that isn’t one one’s side and/or takes away from the goodness is either an obstacle that must be eliminated or a weird, creepy thing that must be ignored.
As I said, it is a complex thing (and I was too lazy to split it up into parts and explain each different part) and so to illustrate just what this syndrome looks like I will tell you a couple of stories:
The Young Men Who Thought they Were Supermen
I remember back when I was still in high school I went to this house party. It was in a small secluded home at the very top of a dark, well forested mountain. I showed up in there with three of my “brothers from the motherland” determined to make cross-cultural exchange a double entedre.
I was the loudest, most obnoxious fellow in the room. And after singing, hugging, grabbing, joking, huffing and puffing, I packed my bags because I was going home alone. As we were packing up to leave a panic hit the party.
Are those Boys Mad?
It turns out that the girl hosting the party had had a spat with three vveerrrryyyyy drunk boys who had attended the party and somehow the boys decided that the way they would get vengeance would be by trying to take the 5-10 kilometer extremely-convoluted-and-pitch-black hike down the mountain on their own. Well, their technique looked like it worked because this girl was horror stricken.
The Search Begins
We packed my friends saloon car with 5 males and 2 girls and off we went in search of these three young men, as the rain came pouring heavily down. We screamed their names and drove around for close to an hour and a half before we found the first boy. Soon after we found the second.
The Third is Always the Special One Isn’t He?
I will never forget the way we found the third one. I want you to imagine the Blair Witch Project or the Exorcist. The world around us was in a blanket of darkness but for the meagre lights of my buddy’s Nissan Silvia. As we descended down a hill, at the very bottom of it, the spotlight rest on a what-the-heck-is-that-doing-in-the-middle-of-nowhere street post that had two signs, one pointing to the left and one to the right. Leaning against that pole, completely drenched and looking like he was among the walking dead was the third boy.
I don’t even know if he was fully conscious as we brought him back to the car and put him in the backseat. Feeling very much like self-sacrificing heroes, me and my buddy got in the trunk of the car so that these boys could have room in the back seat.
What I have never forgotten about that day, aside from the hyperbolic drama, was the last thing the third boy said to me just as we were dropping him home:
Thank you. I didn’t know what I was thinking. You know we thought we were superman. We thought we were invincible.
God My Provider
If you have no understanding of Christian faith or theology, see you in the next headline below…….
Of late, I have been going to church and church related events A LOT. One thing that seems to come up over and over and over and over and over and over again is a little process that I like to call cognitive dissonance that probably should never have happened in the first place:
Step one: People in churches all over Australia reach out to people by telling them that, “God and His love will fulfill your every want and need and so surrender to him and he’ll give you everything your heart hungers for.”
Step two: People join the church believing and expecting that now that they have “surrendered” they will get everything they want and need….ooohhh, I “need” a car, a flat screen, a mouse trap, an X- box 360 (Wii is way better but whatever)
Step three: Tragedy strikes: They get sick, lose a job a car or a nail.
Step four: They cry out for God to fix it
Step five: He doesn’t
Step six: They get very mad because God isn’t some vending machine that pops out miracles every time they pray and actually brings pain to their lives.
Step seven: They realize that God won’t always provide and either really struggle with this or leave the church.
Now I know a lot of folk reading this raised in a third world country, when they read step 6 said:
Well, d’uh ( In Indonesia this means bye, seriously try it go to an Indonesian and say da! ) ! He runs the Universe, He does what He wants, when He wants and sometimes we are beneficiaries, some times we are not. But he isn’t here to be our vending machines.
And yet, a lot of folk out here struggle with this. Why?
Because of the Western entitlement syndrome
So What’s Your Point?
I really have no point. I just wanted to put a post out there and make you aware that this exists. That some people really do think that human rights ARE intrinsic human rights not limited to the UN conventions but also including material prosperity and health. Is it wrong? I don’t know. Is it real? You better believe it and you best find a way to handle it. Our complaining won’t make it go away…………………..