Culture of Kindness: Privilege and Entitlement

Written by Desiree Visser

“What separates privilege from entitlement is GRATITUDE.” Brene Brown

Gratitude and entitlement are essentially opposites.  Gratitude says “I notice and appreciate” while entitlement says “I deserve”.

Grateful people compliment others easily and forgive easily, and they want others to succeed. They are joyful and eager to share and take responsibility for their actions. On the other hand, entitled people are eager to criticise, to hold a grudge, and are proud and unkind. They like to blame others for their failures and secretly hope others will fail. An entitled person tends to not be a kind person.
While this is not true for all of us, some of us live in privilege. Some of us have access to academic, social and sporting privilege that many in Namibia do not have. We cannot deny that privilege, but do we acknowledge our entitlement? It is very uncomfortable to become aware of the ways we may have allowed ourselves and our children to adopt an attitude of “I deserve/ demand/ expect”. It definitely does not apply to everyone, and no one should point to another in judgment. But we know that entitlement is a problem to the modern generation (see Simon Sinek’s insightful commentary in “Millennials in the workplace”) and none of us want to raise children that are not employable or successful as adults.

A key to overcoming this difficulty is by being grateful! Once again we look to the Word of God for direction: “Let your roots grow down into Him and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught and you will overflow with thankfulness” Colossians 2:7. The source of our gratitude lies in knowing Jesus and building our lives on Him. The foundation of our gratitude is knowing that we deserve none of the blessing, forgiveness, relationship and future that God has given us. When we truly grasp this, our journey of gratitude can begin.


Behluli Moyo - October 8th, 2021 at 10:03am

Profound, thank you Desiree

Cheryl - October 16th, 2021 at 12:15am

So valuable to read your article since these unpalatable attitudes go unnoticed in our hearts until the light shines on them. Thanks Des