Don’t be entitled; develop an attitude of gratitude

Maintaining an attitude of gratitude can be a difficult task in a generation of entitlement, but by focusing on Christ, being thankful is possible.

In his article, The Entitlement Cure, Craig Groeschel describes entitlement as “that little voice that takes ‘I want it’ and turns it into ‘I deserve it.’” Instead of being thankful for the little things in life, some people have adopted the mindset that they deserve what they have.

When asked why the current generation is a generation of entitlement, Lara Eller, instructor of mass communication, said, “I consider myself a part of this generation and think that people expect too much because of all the opportunities they have available to them. People expect to get things whenever they want them.”

Aaron Harris, sophomore, brought things into perspective with his example of fried chicken in the cafeteria. He said if the cafeteria ran out of fried chicken, the students would complain, even though they did nothing to work for or make the chicken.

“We don’t consciously think we deserve something,” he said, “but when it’s taken away, our reaction against it is so great that it shows we feel like we deserve it.”

Robert Gaddis, assistant professor of psychology, gave some solutions on how to solve the problem with the lack of gratitude. He said, “You can write down three things you’re grateful for and develop a habit of look for things to be grateful for.”

In fact, that is just what his positive psychology class does. Every day before he starts class, the students write down three things they are thankful for and focus on the things they take for granted in their daily lives.

Eller said, “I think that a good step is to do things for other people and to go without. Think about your daily routines and how much you do for yourself and think about what would happen if you did half of that for other people.”

Gaddis said it does not hurt to compare yourself with others who have less so we may realize all of the aspects and little things in life we take for granted.

“We have a tendency to compare ourselves to people who have more and become unhappy,” he said. “Realizing it could be worse helps you.”

Gaddis said Christians are more likely to recognize the fact that being alive is a gift of God, but not everyone thinks that life is a gift.

Romans 6:23 sates, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Believers understand that humanity deserves death, but through the grace and mercy of Christ, life can now be attained through salvation in Him. Through salvation in Christ, believers can understand ultimate gratitude in knowing the sacrifice He made on the cross.

1 Thessalonians says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”