A shift in perspective?

It has been a while since the last post.  I have been reading and thinking more than writing.  Why?  I want to make sure that my initial thoughts about working on this project are grounded in data, stories that can be shared, and filled with lessons to be learned.

Today I read the following article on www.msnbc.com, and felt it worthy of sharing.   Click on the “more” after the opening sentence to read the full article.

LOS ANGELES — Skid Row resident Dadisi Komolafe points indignantly to the sign reading “Union Rescue Mission,” and grumbles that the name no longer fits since the shelter started charging for a nightly stay.    More…

The article goes on to challenge the thought and theory on fully “free” support or other welfare programs.  If the goal of a homeless shelter is to work towards helping to get people off the streets, then how is that done if those on the streets are not required to do anything differently to change their circumstances?  If I show up and get “3 hots and a cot” day in, and day out, what would prompt me to do something different?  Someone will always take care of me right?

The attitude of helplessness or complacency is only a small part.  Many who are unfortunate, or live on the streets, may not have the means to change their situation.  I get that.  I realize that the world is a very cruel place and that having a safe haven and respite to seek shelter meets the basic needs of survival.  We do need to be sure to help those who may be down on their luck or need assistance.  I get it.  My question is, “when is enough, enough?”

Here is an example that I have used many times before, but I think is fitting.

When my first-born son Garrett was young, we bought him shoes that did not have strings/laces but velcro.  Each morning our daily routine was to get ready together and I was the daddy day care taxi.  Each morning same routine.  Clothes on, socks on, shoes on.  If we were running late, I would help and put his shoes on.  There were two problems with this process and routine that I learned a few years later.

1.  I helped more than I empowered.  Since I have never really been a morning person, 9 times out of 10, we were running behind schedule.  So what would I do?  I would put his shoes on for him.  Taking away the opportunity for him to learn how to put his own shoes on.  Dad did it for him because we, “had to go!”

2.  Since the shoes were easier and faster to put on with velcro vs. shoe strings, my son started kindergarten and could not tie his own shoes.  It was not until he was in 3rd or 4th grade that he could really tie his shoes well and on a consistent basis.  No fault to his own, he just never had to change or do anything differently because he always had velcro shoes.  The urgency or need was never present to have to learn to do something differently.

Fast forward to the story on charging $7 for an overnight stay at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.  If those who are using the services of the organization for a place to sleep, or “3 hots and a cot”, are never asked to do anything differently their behavior will not change.

I think there is a time to provide appropriate and adequate support.  However, I think we need to think about how we enable and empower certain behaviors in others.  Sometimes, just sometimes, we as human beings need to have a reality check and moment to drive us to do something differently.  Would you agree?  A shift in perspective is truly needed to change behavior.  The key, and as is indicated in the article, are we willing?


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Filed under Accountability, Community Expectations, Expectations, Inspiration

Accountability in a forgiving society?

It only takes a short amount of time to review the latest news to hear about the actions someone chose to take, and the consequences they received in return.  “Man robs bank, sentenced to 10 years in prison“, “Murder suspect caught, receives life without parole“.  The list can go on and on.  From why someone lost a job, to their political seat and career, we constantly see such stories in the news on a regular basis.

What moved me to write today was the latest in the saga of Lindsey Lohan.  For her part in taking a $2500 necklace, she was sentenced yesterday to 120 days in jail.  Today, she’s out after only serving 5 hours.  5 hours of a 12o day sentence.  How does that work?  If you would like to read more, the full article is here:   Lindsay Lohan bailed out of jail after 5 hours

So why write about this issue that keeps repeating itself?  First off, it keep repeating itself.  Lindsay is not alone.  Celebrities somehow live in an entirely different world than the rest of us.  Put you or me, without any of Ms. Lohan’s history, and 120 days would have been a joke.  Unlike Lindsey, who’s sentence went from felony grand theft to a misdemeanor, those not in the celebrity spotlight or favor would have had the full book thrown at them.  Would you agree?

Here is where my internal barometer has a hard time getting a read on where we are as a society.  Consider the following questions:

  • Why are there different standards of accountability in our society that are based upon social or economic status?  Why?
  • How do we take someone like Michael Vick, who served his sentence and is now back in the spotlight,  being considered as one of the finalist for the cover of the EA Sports game, Madden 2012?
  • What are the youth of our country being taught about accountability for their actions?  Go to time-out and then all is forgiven?
  • What does the future look like when the White House is considering pushing forward and moving the federal debt limit higher to avoid another economic crisis? 

When do we face up, own up to our problems, and then in return hold ourselves accountable?  Laws, policies and rules are in place for a reason.  To hold us accountable.  Now, you might not agree with some of them, and there are those that I don’t as well.  However, they are there and we have a responsiblity to follow them.  But what happens when we don’t like them and want to change them to meet our needs? 

Have we become too forgiving?  Have we forgotten how history often repeats itself?  Are we choosing to not learn from the errors of our ways?


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Filed under Accountability, Entitlement, Expectations, Government

Entitlement….powered by government programs?

Could it be that we the people have a government in the United States that supports actions and beliefs of entitlement?  Is it possible that our government feels entitled itself? 

Read the following and you will be BLOWN AWAY at the costs and dollars spent by our government.  Many thanks to Brent Clanton, of the AM650 Morning Show, for posting on Facebook. 

Sit back and take a deep breath before you read this:  http://www.cato.org/files/DownsizingAd-New-2.pdf

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Filed under Entitlement, Expectations, Government


This is short, sweet and to the point.  Well, maybe…

Am I alone, or have we become a society of entitled, whining, selfish individuals?  At the drop of any disappointment, no matter how small or significant, we contact the local lawyers to represent our pain and suffering.  So much of what is in place in work, personal, and societal processes are all to prevent law suits from occurring.  Really?  Really?

This is one of the times where a rant is warranted.  For that I apologize.  It is the collective behavior of rushing to either threaten legal action, or the filing of suit that has me a bit untethered.  From consumers, to companies, to parents, to our own government.  Oh no, don’t sue me!  I still think my free speech is protected by the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States. 

When we start taking responsibility for our own actions and the result of those actions the world will be a better place.

When we stop looking for ways to get wealthy by filing suit against how we feel we have been wronged, we will become rich beyond compare.

When something unfortunate or bad happens, and the first thoughts turn to the safety and security of those involved become our first thought and not, “oh crap will I get sued?”, we will become more human.


  • Mom sues pre-school for not prepping her 4-year old for Ivy League-more…
  • The NFLPA and NFL cannot reach agreement and lockout begins.  Law suits flying left and right over the distribution of BILLIONS of dollars in revenue, work stoppage and much more.-more…
  • Starbucks patron, Zeynep Inanli, sues for “unreasonably hot” tea.-more…

The examples listed above are only a small sampling of entitlement issues in our society and where so many are quick to run into litigation for whatever the reason may be.  Entitlement, yes.  Ownership of actions?  Really?

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Progress Update #1

It’s early, I will say that, as it relates to the journey and process of writing a book.  However, I feel the need to share some information regarding my early thoughts.    As with any book or project where one starts is not always where one finishes. 

To get a better grasp of my purpose behind writing Breaking the Chains of Entitlement: Its Not About Me, take a look at the following “concepts” I have sketched out and will be digging into as I work to assemble a draft version of the book.

Are we better off today than we were yesterday?  Is society civil, caring, and responsive?  Are we positively engaged in living our daily lives while thinking about those around us? 

Sadly, and there will be many examples to follow, more and more people today are stuck in a rut and can only process the world around them through the filter of WIIFM, also known as What’s In It For Me?


Hurricane Katrina-Many are still receiving Federal Aid.  Many others, such as banks and insurance companies, have felt entitled to make decisions for their business processes that do not take into account their customers or clients, but simply their bottom line.  Yes it was a natural disaster, but one that if you choose to fight through, you can recover.  This goes for individuals as well as businesses. 

Economy-Would our economy be in the tank for the past 2-3 years if the banking and insurance industry did not prey upon the American Dream of homeownership?  One word, GREED, drove this sense of entitlement to build a better portfolio and to make as much money as possible by giving anyone with a pulse a mortgage and then walking away from new home owners when they drown in the very water mortgage lenders provided to quench the thirst of home ownership.

Social Programs-The list is plenty, and many enable behaviors that do not require individuals in our society to change their circumstances.  I am for support and assistance when it is need.  However, when it becomes a crutch and the “easy” thing to just do nothing and milk the system for all it is worth, I have a problem.

Greed-This is one of the deadly sins, and it has arrived in full flesh to the good ole US of A in ways we did not imagine before.  Capitalism breeds competition, and that I think is good.  However, when greed gets in the way of treating someone appropriately, or using the bottom line as the ONLY measure, I think we have lost our way.  One example of flat out greed is the profits that the airlines posted due to baggage and reservation change fees.   This article and data pulled from CNN, states that in “2010 US airline profits are fattest in decade“.

Banking/Credit Industry abuses-Accountability in this industry is no where close to what it needs to be.  Banks can raise fees whenever they choose.  They can do whatever they would like and simply say, “if you do not like it, take your business elsewhere.”  Well, thanks to the changes for their benefit, many are left with being stuck with high interest rates, bad banking procedures, and nothing more to show for it than stress and frustration.  They can change the rules as they want, when they want, and how they want, and all it takes is one and the rest will follow suit.

Consumerism (Black Friday)-If you have not watched the video on the videos link on this blog, you need to see it.  Here is the link, and it can also be found on the Inspirational Videos section as well.


Having been in retail for the past 7 years and working on Black Friday as a glutten for punishment, I find it humorous each year when individuals feel entitled to products just because they showed up.  The video addresses it better than I can, and shows some alarming behaviors that reinforce a self-centered, entitled society and then attempts to address how and why.

In the above, which is not a complete list, you will see individual and organizational examples of entitlement, or at least I hope you do.  I will continue to flush out my ideas, but wanted to share my thoughts as of now.  If you have any thoughts or feedback, feel free to post your comments or send an email to inambook@mtran.com.

I thank you for taking time out of your day to reflect upon the thoughts I had during mine.

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Filed under Community Expectations, Entitlement, Overview, Update

A Timely Message…

As the story goes, I was having lunch with a colleague and friend this past week.  There are plenty of lunch options to choose from, however, this day the choice was Chinese.  We enjoyed meaningful conversation and dialogue, sharing what our experiences were for the holiday season as well as hopes and aspirations for the upcoming year.  In the course of our conversation, I had the chance to discuss my thoughts and hopes for Breaking the Chains of Entitlement:  It’s Not About Me.  What happened next can only be described as a timely message.  One that was divine in nature, but poignant nonetheless.  

Since we were dining at a Chinese restaurant, and as I have done many times before, I finished my meal and proceeded to open my fortune cookie.   What I read gave me chills.  The fortune read…

“Your success in life must be earned with earnest efforts.”

We just got done talking about issues of entitlement and a quote comes out of the fortune cookie that addresses the exact point of where entitlement issues are present in our society today.  Really?  Really?

You see, I am motivated and have been affirmed, that writing Breaking the Chains of Entitlement is a need.  I hear and read about stories day in and day out where members of our society think they are entitled to something, be it a material item, the right to do/not to do something.   The key to this equation, and in my observation, is that we “expect” to be “given” without putting forth the effort. 

I truly hope that my efforts will shine a light on how our values have gotten way out of whack.  That we expect too much to be provided or given to us without the necessary time, energy and EFFORT put into whatever we are trying to achieve or accomplish.

Amen fortune cookie…Amen….


Filed under Affirmation, Inspiration, Overview


Back in the day” before the internet we youngsters, of the pre-techo age, had to consult books and materials in print.  If we wanted to learn something, write a research paper, or define a word we consulted encyclopedias or a dictionary.  The most common reference to defining words was Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. 

Because I am old school, I did the same with my thoughts and how it relates to the term entitlement.  I mean, if I am writing a book in the topic wouldn’t it be good to be sure that there is a common definition in use?  That being said, here is how Merriam-Webster defines entitlement from their on line tool (yeah, I’m also a part of the techo-boom), Merriam-Webster’s Learners-Dictionary:


1 [noncount] a : the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something ▪ my entitlement to a refund b : the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges) ▪ celebrities who have an arrogant sense of entitlement

I think that sums it up perfectly!  Therefore, when I speak of entitlement, I will be using;

  • The condition of having a right to have, do, or get something; and
  • The feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something.

The definitions above are credited to Merriam-Webster’s Learners-Dictionary.  The specific site and link can be found at: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/entitlement.

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Filed under Entitlement, Expectations, Overview