Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 12:42 am | Overcast 67º


John Daly: This Thing Called Entitlement

My wife, Marti, and I had coffee with a friend of ours the other day. Our conversation landed on the people in our lives who feel they are entitled to the kindnesses that we bestow upon them.

She gave me an example of a concern in her family. She has a large family — six daughters, all married. For the most part, everyone gets along and treats her husband and her with love and respect.

With one exception.

One son-in-law always expects the parents to pay whenever they go out for a meal. Apparently, he does quite well financially. He is never a tight wad when it comes to holiday or birthday gifts. He just never offers to pick up the tab or split the bill for him and his wife (the daughter) whenever they go out.

Even worse ... and this is the kicker ... he never thanks them for paying for the meal!

I have to take this one all the way back to “entitlement.” This is an only male child who was doted upon by his parents. He’s intelligent, kind and sincere in most every other way, but he hasn’t yet connected the value of “thank you” when it comes to receiving kindness from others.

This trickles down to when he receives gifts as well. He does thank them, but in an absent-minded-afterthought way, which doesn’t ring sincere.

In today’s era of “it’s all about me,” some of us have forgotten what those two little words, given in a sincere and expressive manner, do for the “giver” of kindness. Those words make it all worthwhile. Those words are all the payment anyone will ever need in return.

Those words will make the giver want to give again. Just think, if you say “thank you” to someone, aren’t you opening up the possibility of people thinking about you as an appreciative, deserving person?

Most of us give because we don’t expect anything in return. But, we worry when we send a gift across country and never hear whether it was received or appreciated.

Most of us don’t expect anything in return, but we appreciate a “thank you,” which is praise in itself and makes us feel better about what we’ve just done for you.

Let me share with you what I told my friend. The gift of giving is a kindness for which you should never expect “payment.” If you give someone a gift or buy them a meal, it should come from the heart with no strings attached.

It’s only human nature to want to hear the words “thank you.” But, if they aren’t said, ever, don’t let it stop you from having a giving heart for those you love. Otherwise, resentment will turn into something that clouds that love.

Know that when you do something for someone, you should do it without thought of any kind of payment.

Hard to swallow, I know. But someone who grew up feeling entitled isn’t going to change his or her ways. You can only show them what can be done with your own example.

Continue to say “thank you” for whatever kindness you do receive and hope that your ability to give without expectation of “payment” can teach them a meaningful lesson.

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the keys to life skills success. Click to learn more about The Key Class. John’s new book, 74 Key Life Skills for a Happy, Successful Life, is available on Amazon. Click here to receive a FREE eBook copy of The Key Class. Do you have a question about business or social etiquette? Ask John at [email protected]. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook and follow John on Twitter @johnjdalyjr. The opinions expressed are his own.

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