I was in the hospital waiting to get a mammogram when I heard a lady next to me ask the nurse navigator who happened to be African, “The Asian lady with long hair, can she do the mammogram for my sister?” I cringed in my seat thinking that the nurse navigator might find this at the least presumptuous, and even demanding. I also thought she might be offended that a patient was telling her how to conduct her work. In such an environment, most people, myself included, would simply follow the procedure and do as they are told.
Some feel entitled to reach for what they want in all situations. They never lose sight of being entitled and being demanding comes naturally to them. This separates those who might lead from those who would only follow.
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
It got me thinking that feeling entitled may be linked to a sense of belonging. Now we all know that belonging is right up there with bread and butter in the human condition. Everyone is looking to belong somewhere. That’s why sovereign states exist, why people band together in tribes, why individuals twist themselves just to fit into a powerful circle or become part of a status group.
Oftentimes patients do not want to make special demands because they don’t want to spoil things. The patient’s sister may not have felt vulnerable and that might have been why she could demand her chosen service provider, however offending it might be to the nurse navigator.
As a patient surviving breast cancer, waiting for a mammogram blocked any attitude of entitlement I might have felt previously. In general, there is nothing to lose by going for it, and we are empowered when we reach for what we truly want. In actuality, it all depends on whether or not we feel there is something at stake. We measure our birthright to exercise our unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness against the odds of our belonging. So being part of that which may seem to overpower us has a great deal to do with harnessing our entitlement and harvesting all of the gains that come from it.
Next time you are in a situation which feels uncomfortable, chew on this and see what happens.