I come from Venezuela, I am one of the millions who have fled Venezuela in search of better opportunities. I used to say that I was running away. Later, I changed my focus to coming to another country to share my heart and thrive in a different environment. Venezuela is an amazing and beautiful country that has been sadly suffering from corruption and crime at levels that few citizens of this country will understand. Yet, I sometimes find myself upset because I have to wait 5 minutes for a coffee because at Cannoli and Co they give me the coffee one minute after paying and they do it with a Dirty Dancing Joke like “Here is your coffee mate no one put Pedro in the corner”. The audacity I have for not being aware that I am so lucky right now to be in this also amazing country. I say also because no matter where you are, most of the time you can find things to be grateful about. More related to entitlement comments: “Coffee tastes horrible” and then drink it, “This phone is shit” phones today are amazing you can do so much, “No one likes my picture on Instagram” I am so handsome LIKE IT!.
These are super superficial comments but I think entitlement runs way deeper than that. I am very fortunate for growing up with parents who love me greatly and did the best they could with what they had. Also super lucky that they made most of the important mistakes with my older brother Pedro Rafael. I went to one of the best schools in my hometown and one of the best Universities in Venezuela and today I live in the most livable city in the world. Nonetheless, I have been kidnapped a couple of times and I have been on the other side of a gun, facing the hole where the bullets come out. None of that or any of the very sad experiences I had in life, justify the belief that I am inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. Honestly, awareness keeps appearing as the key through realising that I am actually grateful for the things I have in this life. I do believe that self esteem and self respect are some important words in regards to obtaining privileges.
As you know I make my living as a dancer, teaching and coaching. I really love what I do. In the last couple of years, thanks to the people around me in particular TIffany, also my students and my coaches, my dancing expertise and coaching skills have improved and I keep constantly working to make them better. Today, I can pick and choose the people I work with and the Dance Congresses I go to. I value communication and respect and I am a work in progress in both areas. If an event approaches me and either the benefits, the agreement or the approaching style is not aligned with my values I will decide not to go. One of the last times that this happened to me, actually to Pedro and Tiffany the couple. I had a feeling of indignation, thinking “how dare you not to offer me and treat me with respect”. “I am super Pedro. You treat me with respect”. It is a bit more simple than that. It is not an event for us because it is not aligned with our values. Because when I go to work and I am treated with respect, I am inspired to do what I do with more love, more power and more commitment. Then the clients could really witness me doing my best. Then maybe enjoy the event even more.
I am not necessarily here to judge people’s entitlement. One of my amazing friends told me about how at her work now people want the actual job they have changed to accommodate their new reality of working from home, she called it entitlement attitude. While having the conversation she actually realised that she was complaining about having to go back to the office a couple days per week, giggling. People have different circumstances and realities, I understand. But If the company’s culture at the place you work today values working in the office. It is important for you to see that it might not be a place for you to work. I think you now might value staying at home and it is ok. Just go and find another job. Yes it is scary. But, It is amazing how much some people grew after covid. Having a new COVID normal helps us to realise that we can survive in different circumstances, what they thought was impossible is now achievable and they have multiple examples all around them. We are a little bit more aware of our realities. However, maybe wishing for another pandemic is not the best way to be aware of your values and of the things you are actually grateful for.
I found three words that are fundamental when talking about entitlement: gratefulness, values and awareness. They seem to be very entangled and they are. Opening my eyes and putting on my grateful lenses to see the amazing features of the world while I work on figuring out my values and the things that are important to me so I can actually be better at what I do and Inspire others to be even more amazing everyday. I can only do that if I am aware of the life I am living, present here and now. Doing my best to be a contributing gear of the world.
Be loving and king to the world and to yourself,
Photo by Edu Carvalho