Shedding Light On Entitlement

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Over the past few weeks, with innumerable scandals coming to light, social media is filled with statements from every celebrity, every media house and people whom you have never heard of before. Every statement ends with a line that says, 'This is my final comment on the matter, please do not reach out to me for more statements'. The daily Quora notifications that I receive are only revolved around these scandals with common people like you and me wanting to know intricate details about the how and why of what happened. Why do people feel entitled to know everything about a celeb? I know they chose to live their life in the eyes of the public, but even they are entitled to a sense of privacy. How hard is it for people to understand that? This hit a new low with the passing of Sushant Singh Rajput. Some actresses were bullied and trolled because they did not share their grief on social media. A tragedy is usually personal and everyone deals with it their own way. The best way, the most dignified way to deal with it is, silently. No name calling, no washing dirty linen in public, no yelling on prime time news. In a publicity hungry country like ours, no one will let this happen.

Let us forget the big bad world of cinema for now and just talk about common people like you and me. I cannot say this enough and more louder, 

"Just because you follow me on social media, it doesn't mean that you are entitled to say anything and get away with it. Just because you follow me on social media doesn't mean that I share intricate details of my life with you". 

I am no celebrity or influencer here, but the number of comments and messages I got when I stopped sharing details of my workout was something else. People asked me if I had given up, how much weight I had lost, and called me a quitter. When I shared some pictures of my home, every one wanted to know where I bought the furniture from, what kind of plants they were and how much I had paid for them. Most people even messaged me to ask how much I paid for the house. I would still understand if you liked something, complimented me for it and then asked me where I got it from. A direct "How much you paid for this chair?" is definitely not done. Just because I share something on social media, doesn't mean that the audience is entitled to know everything about it.

Let's leave the online world for a while. Offline, in real life, people feel that they deserve to know everything about your life, just because they are related to you or they just happen to know you. People who have never ever called/messaged me to ask how I was doing in life got upset when I did not tell them about purchasing a house. I did invite them for the house-warming ceremony though (purely out of decency), but they continued to be angry about the fact that I had not told them earlier about it. If you are not someone I talk to on a daily basis and if you have shown no interest in my well being, why do you feel entitled to know what is happening in my life? So many of my relatives and friends still hold this grudge against me. Well, I don't care, as usual. 

This happens a lot when we travel too. We travel because we want to, not to let other people know about it. When people hear about it from our parents or from our Instagram pictures, they get all miffed because they did not know about it earlier. If I buy a house or choose to travel, that is entirely up to me. Why do you feel the need to be informed? I'm saying it again, just because you are related to me, are my friend, or just happen to know me, it doesn't mean that you are entitled to know about everything that is happening in my life. People who are close to me and have bothered to stay in touch, will be told about key milestones and decisions. If you don't understand the difference here, I don't know what else to say.

Now coming to the most important and widely abused sense of entitlement - Inheritance. A man/woman works really hard to make a life for themselves. They slog away their years in the hope of a better future. Years later, their kids expect it to be passed to them on a silver platter. Why? Parents give birth to us and strive hard to give us a decent life. Some kids just assume that their parents exist to give them whatever they want. Parents are not ATMs, just because you are their kids doesn't mean that you are entitled to everything they have. They have worked hard to make their fortune, you need to work hard to make yours. Stop expecting it to come to you for free. I've seen people waiting, fighting to get a share of their parent's property. I've seen it up, close and personal and I have found the concept ludicrous since then. I have also seen that the money that comes for free, vanishes without a trace. Karma exists for sure. Then there are people who are waiting with bated breath for an inheritance they made zero contributions to, to come their way. Plans are being made on how to use that free money. What happened to genuine relationships and love? Why do you feel entitled to your parents wealth, aren't you capable of making your own?

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Then comes the other side. Parents give birth to children. The kids had no say in this and it was the parents choice to bring them to the world. In India, children are like investments, which explains the quest for a male child. Children don't owe their parents anything. Years ago, a woman I knew had gotten in touch with me asking me to talk to her son and drive some sense into him. This was the scenario. The parents worked really hard and sent this boy abroad for his masters. Once he was done with his education, he decided to come back to India and work for an NGO instead. Wealth did not appeal to him and he wanted to give back something to the world. His mother was appalled by it. In her own words, "We gave him everything we had, hoping that he'll do the same for us. His education will guarantee him an high-paying job which will give us all the comforts we have dreamed of. He owes us this". I told her the exact opposite. He doesn't owe anyone anything. He's doing what he wants to do out of his own will. I told her to stop being selfish and let him be happy. Needless to say, we're not in touch anymore. 

While children should take care of their parents and their needs, they do not have to cater to every want of theirs. Some parents think that they are entitled to everything that their child has made. The child in question, has worked hard, put in his/her sweat and blood to make a decent life for themselves. As a parent, you are not entitled to everything he/she has. Children are not investments to be encashed later. You don't owe them anything, they don't owe you anything. I have seen first-hand what this kind of burden to can do to a young mind! I have always been a fiercely independent person and I started working at a very young age, financed my own education and became the successful person that I am today. Same with my partner as well. We're both self-made and tomorrow if we have children, there is no way they are going to get all this on a platter. We will give them the comfort of a safe home and the best of education, after that they are on their own. We do not believe in the flawed concept of inheritance.

We all come into this world alone and go alone. No one owes us anything nor do we owe anyone anything. Be it information, life updates or wealth. People need to have the decency to think twice before posting a comment on social media, or asking for freebies, or making plans for a future inheritance when the person holding the key to it is hale and healthy. That is just plain callousness. Two words that I hate the most in the English dictionary are, compromise and adjustment. Now, there is a third added to it. Entitlement. 

Everything about it just sounds so wrong.

4 comments:

  1. Bang on sister! That bit about parents, children and passing on inheritance is age old lore.I borne the brunt of it first hand in my family and its like a curse that has over shadowed my whole life. Same with the expectation of the parents that their child is their property and they can taken them granted in any and every way. No complaints to be made by the said child.

    Entitlement comes in so many forms and is extremely vicious. It can damage relationships and personalities for ever.

    Great hard hitting post Soumya - sorry to hear about all the negativity you faced with your tribe - hope they all get the message with this post somehow!

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  2. That part about what a child owes the parent for the price of being born to them or raised by them - just imagine how many (literally) millions of lives have gotten destroyed by that belief.

    It still exists even today... this is a brilliant article. Truly much needed.

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  3. I just found myself nodding my head at everything you said here. The sense of entitlement we have a society is appalling. The glee with which we feel entitled to rip a celebrity apart...to make a spectacle out of someone’s death simply baffles me. And the equation between parents and children - that can be a burden to both sets of people. A child’s sense of entitlement to an inheritance as well as parents’ expectations of their children. Reminds me of a Khalil Gibran quote from The Prophet - You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    P.S: I saw a picture of your home on your Instagram account, I think. It’s beautiful.

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  4. SSR's death was tragic, but what it has become now is beyond compare. A spectacle! It also has revealed so many dark secrets, but that doesnt really suprise me. I am surprised by the viciousness of the media.
    Your home is absolutely amazing. Each space so tastefully and thoughtfully decorated. Well looks like people are so curious that they often forget their boundaries. Dont let them get you. Enjoy the beauty of all the things you have worked hard for.

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