What Are You Entitled Too? Nothing Really

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

WE each come into the world in pretty much the same state.  Naked and screeming our heads off.  We own nothing, we have no rights, we have no expections other than some better experience than what we have just endured.  We don’t even have a claim to the blanket we are wrapped in.  Those that are lucky are born into a loving and nurturing family.  They develop good, stable, reliable friends.  They have good inspired teachers.  However, none of those things are guaranteed.  Even happiness isn’t.  The US Constitution says that each has the right to pursue happiness.  It doesn’t tell anyone how to get it, or any assurance that we will find it.

questions-answersThen at some point in our young lives we are dumped into the real world.  That world where we must make our own way.  Earn an income, pay our bills, raise a family if that is our choice, and hopefully save for retirement.  So what are we entitled to in this unfamiliar world of commerce?  Nothing.  We enter that sometimes cold and unfeeling world with no entitlements.  Are we entitled to a good work environment, pleasant peers, a job we love, a nurturing boss, a generous mentor?  Not really, we just hope that we can find those.  The only entitlement is the right to look for them.

We have certain talents, and traits that we bring to the marketplace.  For that we are paid some remuneration in the form of income and benefits.  The exchange of those factors is a matter of negotiation in which job we are offered and accept.  Do we have the right to demand anything?  Not really.  If we don’t like the terms or conditions of employment we go elsewhere.  We have no right to flex time, specific work rules, a private office or a key to the washroom.  We have what the company is willing to provide for the use of our time and services only.  We have a right to continue to learn, to perfect our talents, to apply them with an expectation of better employment terms and or promotion.  None of which are guaranteed.

Even those that choose to be self employed have no entitlements, other than the right to do that.  There are no guarantees of success, perks, or happiness in the effort.  They are entitled to the same things that an employee is entitled to.  Work to the best of their ability and hope for good results.  Some succeed, some don’t.  Some find they like it, some don’t.

The end result is we eventually leave this world in much the same state as we entered it.  What happens to us between these two points in time is up to each of us.  The only entitlement is the right to try.

Do you think anyone is entitled to more than that?  Do you think that some believe they are entitled to more?  Why would they think they are entitled to more than any other generation or any other person?


Ken Vincent
Ken Vincent
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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  1. Well, I agree that it would be nice if everyone was entitled to good things in life. But, that isn’t reality. You, I and the guy next door are entitled to work hard and try to achieve the best we can for ourselves and our families.

    Sadly, there are places in the world where that right doesn’t exist though.

  2. Thank you Ken. That’s the bitter truth my friend, and you expressed a very profound concept. Someone in the past called me “communist” (laughable for someone like me) just because I think that if one is born, in my view, he/she is entitled to eat, soup and bread at least. This is something that I’ve always thought. Of course I’m kidding myself…. So yes…I think that everyone is entitled to more than that… or should be entitled to more than that… It goes without saying that this represents a foolish dream, the unreachable. But as I said, it’s just something that’s always been inside of me. I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to a chance to try to get an happier life… but many don’t have this opportunity either. The current “system” crushes many people…I might be wrong Ken, but I think I heard something crackling in it… ’cause today aspirations are definitely becoming an issue. Those who are not willing (let’say) to surrender to the agenda of someone else are growing… maybe this is a product of our global communication era. I don’t know for sure. What I have sensed is that many now realize they are entitled to more than that…. That’s the difference. The awareness. Thank you.