It’s never easy to admit you’re wrong. Especially not in a public forum. But that’s exactly what I’m doing today. Recently, in the Clark household, I was not only wrong, but very wrong. As my readers know, I believe our mistakes hold valuable life lessons, and my most recent is no exception. So, let’s get to it.
I hate doing laundry, I always have. There…I said it. There’s something about it that just makes me want to say “Blah!” Lucky for me, I married a man who doesn’t mind doing it. In fact, for several years he preferred to do it. Otherwise he’d run the risk of a load full of ruined clothes at the hand of his lovely wife. So, I happily turned over the duty to him and he was dubbed our Laundry King.
I thought by allowing my Laundry King to wash all the clothes, everybody would win. I’d get out of doing something I strongly disliked, and Greg wouldn’t have shirts two sizes too small when he pulled them out of the dryer. Everyone’s happy! Right? Wrong. Here’s where I start to go downhill.
I created a monster. The Lazy Monster to be more specific. I hate folding clothes more than washing them, but what I really dislike is putting them away. So, my clean clothes would often sit on the counter for weeks before I’d put them away.
I completely took advantage of Greg and his willingness to wash all the clothes; and created a much bigger problem than not putting my clothes away. He began to feel resentment. Here he was, tackling five people’s laundry with no help from me, and I couldn’t even take the time to put my clothes away.
Eventually, he confronted the Lazy Monster with how he was feeling, and our resolution was simple….no more Laundry King. I was now responsible for my own clothes again. It’s been one of the best things we could’ve done. No more laziness from me, my clothes are put away as soon as they’re washed, Greg isn’t feeling used, and I’m not a monster anymore.
As I thought about the situation after Greg confronted me, I realized I’d become that person I never wanted to be. I’d developed an entitlement mentality without even realizing it. How easy it is to do to take advantage of someone else’s kindness. It made me ask the question, how can we avoid becoming that person or even creating that person in the people we know? There are two keys to successfully avoid becoming that person:
One of the most valuable tools we have in life is being accountable for our own actions. It’s understanding that what you say, what you do, and how you treat others is all your responsibility. Not only are the actions you take your responsibility, but so are the outcomes. Understanding this is vital in avoiding becoming that “entitled” person.
The first place we all should look when something’s not going our way is within. Be accountable for what you do, and if it creates an outcome you don’t like, make a change. Before any finger pointing ensues, make sure you take a moment and check yourself.
Appreciate the Value of Doing the Work
There is no way to describe how valuable hard work is. To me, one of the biggest problems within our society is that we’ve forgotten this. We’ve created so many niceties and conveniences, that we’ve managed to forget how fortunate we are. We’ve lost sight of how much we have.
I let myself fall victim by not doing the work at home with my laundry. It was easy to just let Greg do it. Eventually, I learned to expect it. It didn’t even register to me how much work he was doing to make sure I had clean clothes every week. Only when I took back my chore did I realize the value in what he was doing.
I remember when I was growing up, my mom didn’t have enough money to buy me my first car. I knew if I wanted one, I had to find a way to make it happen for myself. So, I worked my tail off and managed to come up with the money for a hoopty of a car; a 1970 something Subaru hatchback with a huge dent in the side that I bought from my uncle. It was the ugliest car I’d ever seen, but it was mine. If someone would’ve bought me a car, I wouldn’t have appreciated it nearly as much. Don’t be afraid to do the work, in fact, delight in it. By doing so, it keeps the value of what you’re doing in the forefront of your mind.
We’re all challenged each and every day to be the best version of ourselves. To contribute in a positive way to the lives of the people around us. Remember, avoiding falling victim to the entitlement mentality is one of the greatest ways we can do this. Never lose sight of the importance of personal accountability and the value of doing the work.
Have you ever fallen victim to the entitlement mentality?
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