Manipulation to Influential
Entitlement can show up in many other forms in consumer-culture because at the root of entitlement is an attitude and perspective about life. It is a sense that certain things or people belong to us or that it is our right to have them.
It could be power, a material item, a subject or situation. When we feel entitled we want to own and control said thing and exert our power over it or others in such a way that allows us to feel we just deserve something without question.
Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the word as:
Simple Definition of entitlement
: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something
: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges)
: a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group
Entitlement is a complicated concept in consumer-cultures. We constantly have media and marketing challenging our ideas about confidence, self-worth, and being unconditionally loved. These beliefs are detrimental to our self image and whether or not we are deserving of something, someone, or a situation. After enough exposure to constantly feeling like “not enough” for people, we begin to develop emotions that counter-challenge whether we are “enough” or not.
This manifests as the bad version of entitlement. Where we go out in the world seeking and demanding things we feel are owed to us or that we are just inherently deserving of. Every human being has a divine right to unconditional love, support, security, and survival. However, where we seek that from is the determining factor on whether we will be demanding of others or self-reliant.
We have to be our own source first, and supportive of each other second. This rule of order is imperative to healing many of the issues we cause in social interactions. Instead of desperately seeking approval and love from others through power and control or victimization, if we’re self reliant for our emotional needs we can show up as equals to others.
To have a healthy culture and social change that steers us in the right direction, we must be willing to balance on our own two feet and not lean overly much on others. While this doesn’t mean we can’t ever all apart and hold each other up, it just means that we have become self-reliant in a sustainable way so that we’re not depleting one another in our relationships.
We must learn to overcome our co-dependence so that we have the internal resources to be altruistic towards each other instead of narcissistic. This is what is required to get past the barriers caused by elitism and victimization.
By contrast, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines altruism as:
Full Definition of altruism
1: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
2: behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species.
While other cultures and older cultures practice altruism as a lifestyle, consumer-cultures such as the United States, China, and many countries in Europe do not practice altruism as a worldview and don’t uphold the values it provides to society.
With globalization spreading beliefs and ideas around the world, and the position the United States holds as a world leader, this means we have more obligation and responsibility to set examples that benefit everyone and preserve social and environmental principles that will sustain life on eart.