We Are Not Entitled

I was unable to post yesterday so I’m here today. I want to give my observations here now.

The work ethic of the average teenager stinks. I would like most teens to prove me wrong.

Over the years I’ve supervised plenty of exceptional young people who have gone on to great colleges. Yes, there are hard-working, intelligent teenagers out there. Yet they are the exception not the rule.

I don’t know where young people today got the idea that they were “entitled” to be given things without having to work for them. As a teen, I didn’t get a choice as to what I wanted for Christmas. I wanted a boom box (portable radio). I was given luggage instead. I hadn’t asked for nor wanted luggage as a Christmas gift.

Luggage. Really.

I write about this in one of my books in detail: having a hard work ethic. And this kind of “self-esteem, everyone wins” attitude is ridiculous. You compete to win. You don’t win just by showing up. You don’t “give” things to kids without expecting them to be grateful, not entitled.

A teen I supervised asked me to write a recommendation letter so he could get a prestigious scholarship. He won the scholarship and didn’t thank me for writing the letter. A year later I happened to see him and I asked him about it. He told me he won it; again, without a simple “Thank You” added to this acknowledgment.

I write this because a lot of young people diagnosed with mental illnesses have no experience working at paid employment. And if you have a diagnosis and want to go to work, it serves you well to have a hard work ethic.

Young people who go around thinking “I’m great, I’m great–the world OWES me a living” are going to do our country in.

So if you want to succeed, and you have a diagnosis, run like hell from that attitude to make yourself stand out in a crowd of applicants for a limited number of jobs.

Period. End of story.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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