Last week some of us watched the apology of the richest and the most powerful sportsman in history who has been humbled by a black hole called “it’s all about me”.
Tiger Woods said, “”I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.”
He also said: “I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself.”
This not an attempt to tarnish Tiger but simply to draw attention to the pitfalls of modern life. Tiger does not stand alone. Right now there are ordinary people who have convinced themselves that the values and rules of society do not apply to them. They have made life personal, all about number 1. These are the spoilt generation.
Aric Sigman, in his book “The Spoilt generation”, uses that term for modern children, but I would suggest it covers the majority of society including their parents. He suggests that spoilt people have the following qualities:
• A personal sense of entitlement – I deserve whatever I want – a person with less empathy and sympathy, more interested in himself than others.
• A personal need for instant gratification – it’s not a case of wanting something, but the expectation that they will get it because they want it.
The challenge we have as individuals is to learn how to live an other focussed life in all areas of our lives, to think deeply about how what I am about to do will effect others, will society benefit or am I simply acting for my own perceived, often misguided, good?
It is so easy to live with the attitude that the world revolves around me – me-centric living – and to complain about the lack of community and the perceived increase in crime, rudeness and rage. It will only improve when we live outside ourselves – other-centric living – and factor in the impact our actions have on others.
It’s simple really – the privilege to live your life your way comes with the responsibility to live it right so that others are benefited, not harmed.