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An Attitude of Entitlement Leads to Mediocrity—or Worse

"A sense of entitlement is a cancerous thought process that is void of gratitude and can be deadly to our relationships." - Dr. Steve Miraboli

I found this story in my notes just the other day. My apologies for not being able to quote either the author or the source. Like almost all stories, I'm not sure if it is true or not. But, like any good story the message certainly seems truthful. At least in my humble experience. And, in this time of profound decision regarding the choices about our future leadership, with no political commentary on my part, I hope that this story may just supply some measure of relevant instruction. 

It seems that, "once upon a time," an economics professor at Texas Tech was having a conversation with the students in his class regarding the merits of socialism. He argued adamantly against the wisdom of that philosophy until, after being overwhelmed by the insistence of all his students, he finally relented and said that he'd give the class one average grade based on their overall performance. The students all both readily and enthusiastically agreed. 

Upon the first test the class average equaled a "B" grade. The most intense and capable students were not happy at all because, despite all of their concentrated efforts, they determined that they ultimately only worked exceptionally hard for a lower grade than they had earned on their own. 

When the professor gave the next class test the average of all the students only accumulated to an earned "C" grade. Why? Because the high achievers did not study as hard and the less capable students decided that, based on the first result, they did not have to give as much effort as they did initially. Because, they determined that "somebody else" would take care of them. 

When the professor finally gave the third and final test of the semester the class averaged an overall "F." Why? Because not one student, either high, middle or low ability studied at all. Why? Because no one felt that their individual effort mattered at all. Not one student felt that his or her own individual work counted or that anyone cared about the "common good." 

Why? Because each and every student ultimately concluded that his or her individual efforts would not make any difference. Everyone felt that individual contribution did not matter. And that the reward was not commiserate with the effort. So ultimately, no one gave his or her best. 

In the end, all of the students complained and pointed fingers. The more engaged students at the higher end pointed fingers at the lower end for not pulling their own weight. And, the lower performers argued against the higher performing students for not helping them enough. 

Where do you stand on this and what do you believe?

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