“I need that sweater.”
“I deserve a new car.”
Do you think we have misunderstood these words? I think that, unless we have no other shirts, maybe we don’t need that sweater. And, quite possibly, the car (or cars) we own still run. Working hard does not give us carte blanche to whatever we want.
Yes, we are all guilty of this entitlement behavior. (If you are shaking your head at me, let’s add lying to that list.) We may try to avoid it, but the attitude is so pervasive in our culture, it can be subtle and appear harmless.
I have really grown to dislike hearing people say they deserve something, yet I catch myself thinking it. It can be easy to justify a want and disguise it as a need. When I started my job in August, I bought myself a new water bottle despite the fact that we already own several. (But this one keeps the water ice cold and doesn’t sweat.) And I told my husband I need some new makeup for his work Christmas dinner. Good thing I sell it! I find myself so steeped in the “deserve” mentality, it takes constant work to break free from it.
You know what is helping me? Giving more, more freely. At first, this takes effort and intentionality. I don’t naturally want to give money away, but the more often I do this, the easier it becomes. It is so true that where your money goes, your heart will follow. The more I learn about struggles around the world, the clearer I see how much I already have. The more pain and suffering I see, the more I want to help.
When I put my money where my heart tells me, I begin to want it more. If I give to someone who has far less than me, the desire to keep helping begins to take over the desire to buy new things for myself. I find myself satisfied with what I have. Of course, I still want things, but giving keeps that in check.
Finding causes that break our hearts and bring out our passion is integral to coming out of the spending comas we are in. Some people have a heart for orphans, and that is so noble and admirable. I think my desire is to keep families together. So many fair trade companies employ women, which in turn allows them to keep their family intact. What a blessing I am given that I can be a part of that! I can help women have a paycheck and to keep their self-worth. I can help keep their kids fed, clothed, and safe.
That is my need. That is what I deserve. How about you?
Linking with Holley Gerth