It sounds too simple but it’s true. Filling some of life’s most basic needs provides life’s greatest happiness. For instance, good health, a rewarding job, a safe neighborhood and a comfortable place to call home. Add to that list a future for our kids that is bright and ripe with opportunity and overall life seems pretty good. Wouldn’t you agree?
So at what point did it become so difficult to achieve these relatively modest goals? Well, it happened at precisely the tipping point of where too many Americans forgot one of those critical realities of life.
Be careful what you wish for….because you just might get it.
Some wished that high school students could be paid to attend class in Cincinnati Ohio. They got it. But be careful, such is not the case in countries where students excel in math and science because the parents are still in charge.
Some wished that employers would be forced to pay for their employees’ contraceptives under the guise of “health insurance.” They got it. But be careful, such requests are unlikely to amuse an executive weighing a resume against the less-demanding alternative of technology. Been to an ATM or airline check-in kiosk lately?
Some wished that we could call obesity a disease rather than a consequence of poor eating habits and lack of exercise. They got it. But be careful, the faster we discount the importance of personal responsibility, the sooner our children will learn to do the same.
Remember there is nothing wrong with change. Quite the opposite, change is a powerful force that makes the promise of tomorrow’s technologies so exciting. Change in the hands of people who are confident, self-reliant, durable and motivated is a beautiful thing, capable of creating new careers that can’t even be imagined yet.
But nothing stifles a vision of the future like a blind obsession with the past. To demand of anyone or anything, without first demanding of ourselves, does a disservice to the pursuit of what we as individuals, we as employees, and we as Americans can become. Those who pursue the future with aggressive appreciation will be rewarded. Those who expect the future to be handed to them will not be.
So be careful what you wish for. Getting things the easy way, or giving things to people without holding them accountable in return, helps neither the giver or the getter.
Appeasing the entitlement mentality is a lot like drinking seawater. It seems to work initially, but the more you do it the worse the situation becomes.