entitlement

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, entitlementen·ti·tle·ment— def. the fact of having a right to something.

/enˈtītlmənt/ Synonyms— right, prerogative, claim.

We are a society of entitlement. The handout, social welfare, governmental healthcare paid for by others, has produced a generation, or two, or three, of people who expect others to take care of them, or at the least, someone to cover for them, to pick up their slack, to meet their needs. Too many of us believe we have a fundamental right to expect this. People have actually said to me “Why should I work when I can make just about as much by not working”

Not unexpectedly, entitlement has also issued a sense of un-thankfulness among many. A simple “Thank you.” is not in our vocabulary. It has been replaced by the silence of self-deserving expectation. No “thank you” necessary, required, or even considered. How can thankfulness arise from a mindset of I deserve it?

Imagine a world where all of us were thankful for even the simplest of things— bread, a place of shelter, a soft pad on which to close our eyes and sleep, a meal, a friend. Imagine a world where everyone was grateful for what they have been given.

Imagine a world where those blessed with abundance wanted to graciously give to those in need— without bread, without shelter, without a place to lay their head. (Patrick Dempsey comes to mind.) How can we shift an entitlement-mindset to an enrichment-mindset, where people want to contribute to the greater good, to the blessing upon others? THIS is what genuine Christians should be about, immersed in their surrounding towns, neighborhoods, and the world.

In our society we have an abundance. Some of it we have earned; a lot of it we have been given. Give thanks to where it is due. Oh, one more thing…

Thank you,

Gary

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nah nah – nah nah nah!

nah nah taunting girl Dr Gary DavisThis children’s taunt, is a wonderful reminder that some of us have to be better than somebody else. AND that we have to remind them of it. So there! I’m-better-than-you-are! [Tongue out, thumbs in ears, fingers wiggling.]

At a recent meeting of our Board of Directors one of its members quipped- If you’re not Dutch, you’re not much. Yes, he was of Dutch decent. He was making a point—namely, that it always seems necessary to put someone else down so we can lift up ourselves, our sexual orientation, or our nationality, or pedigree, or race, or team, or whatever. Then we taunt those who are “not like us.” Brilliant!

In our current setting we term this treatment Bullying. It is a problem our school systems and professional sports teams face on a daily basis; of course, it rises up in the home as “sibling rivalry.” Through all attempts to level the playing field, our life-long desire for supremacy infests the spirit of too many of us. On a global scale that usually means other people die. At least in the NFL people aren’t killed. Yet.

Might I suggest we cease taunting each other, putting each other down, and, individually, corporately, even in the global arena, and start encouraging each other in practical, functional ways. Remember the words of Jesus as he started his ministry—

Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be known as sons of God.   (Matthew 5:9)

Not a bad descriptor for anyone, Christian or otherwise.

And please put your tongue back in your mouth before someone pounds your jaw and you bite it off.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

safety

     It is a commonly accepted fact that most of us need a place of safety; usually, our homes, or a vacation spot, or just a phone call with a trusted friend. It has been my personal experience that I need a place of safety, a person of safety, and an activity of safety.
My places of safety have varied over the years. First, my bedroom; then, my first car (a ’57 Volvo, PV544, in bright red), followed, surprisingly, by my mind. In recent years it has been the Galbraith Lakehouse in New Hampshire; now the Bravo Boathouse, or the Harraseeket Inn in Maine.
Safe people also come and go. They are people with whom we are totally at ease, with no fear of a broken confidence or betrayal, with a complete openness and trust to share everything. I will not name my people of safety here because they would be embarrassed, at first— then they would kill me.
Safe activities diverge greatly for each of us. For some, it is reading a good book in front of a cozy fire. For others, it is test driving a Jaguar at 125 mph down the Interstate. I used to feel completely safe clipped into a safety line at 13,500’ on the side of a rock face on a mountain. Not so much now.
If you do not have a safe place, person, or activity, you need to get one, or more, fast. They are your safety-net amidst the fires and storms of daily life. Who might be a safe person for you? Living without a deep relationship with at least one other human being is dangerous, especially to your soul. It could slowly isolate you to death.
Having a safe place is just as important. Be it a special place in your home, in your car, or just hiking across a wheat field, recently dusted with fresh snow, you need somewhere to hide yourself away to be with yourself—alone. And, maybe with your God; whether you want him there or not.
Finally, in what real-life activities do you feel most comfortable? Is it the book & fireplace, or the speeding Jaguar? Maybe somewhere in between? Bull riding comes to mind; so does hospital recuperation.

Be safe, my friend.

For what it’s worth,
Gary