Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans


One of the most annoying expressions, in my view, is the following: I am entitled to …… (eg, a house, a job, migration, service). Often, these people believe they have a right to something (or someone), and usually without having duties (eg, good behaviour, good intentions).

In Putin’s view, Russia is entitled to former Soviet republic territories, like Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and possibly others (eg, source, RFE-2020).

A recent article, The Psychology Behind Sense Of Entitlement, gives a good description:

“A sense of entitlement is a personality trait that is based on a person’s belief that they deserve privileges or recognition for things that they did not earn.  In simple terms, people experiencing this believe that the world owes them something in exchange for nothing.” (source). Note: markings by LO.

The Psychology Behind Sense Of Entitlement also states that: “There are several theories regarding why some people may develop a sense of entitlement. The most common include:” (1) “The Spoiled Child”, (2) “An Attempt to Overcompensate for Past Wrongs” (eg, Putin), (3) “Personality Disorders”.

The 1st theory (ie, “The Spoiled Child”) may well explain why entitlement appears to be surging:

“Parents naturally want their children to be happy, confident and fulfilled. This is a healthy and natural urge, but when parents make the mistake of always saying “yes” to their kids, it can lead to a gradual sense of entitlement.  This type of behavior that is allowed during early childhood causes young children to believe that these acceptable patterns and behaviors throughout life.  Children who are always given what they want and are not required to earn rewards for good behavior generally become adults who expect others to cave to their demands.  Often, they become adults who do not know how to effectively communicate with others, and they may have trouble developing healthy relationships or maintaining stable employment.”

An excerpt from the 2022 article The Psychology Behind Sense Of Entitlement

In Europe, we refer to such children as the “backseat generation” (eg, source, T&F Online, source, RTE, The Age). Also see my 2021 blog Helicopter parents and backseat children. In my view, the decades-long increase in “backseat children” is now translating in a surge of people who claim entitlement.

The recent post-pandemic surge in psychological problems in young adults (eg, BMC, NCBI, Unicef, WHO) may also relate to this surge in “backseat children” and the surge in people who claim entitlement. The resilience in people, who were once used to having “nothing”, must be higher.

Obviously, we could blame these young adults. In my view, their parents are accountable and were once responsible. Parents teach, children learn. Many people learn from obstacles in life. Still, some obstacles are just too big to digest. A burnout and depression may follow. I was lucky and survived.

“If we give our children everything, we deprive them of aspirations.” A quote by Frank Sonnenberg from his 2020 book Listen to Your Conscience: That’s Why You Have One.

The Entitled Few (2013) by Doug MacLeod
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-album

You ain’t handicapped, but you have a blue handicapped card
Because finding a convenient parking space is too damn hard
With a smug look on your face, you pull into the blue spot
While a mother with a crippled child is looking for what you just got
This ain’t no concern to you
You above it all, you one of the entitled few

When death call your name ain’t no such thing as the entitled few

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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