For a while now I have been observing many members of my generation and those around it taking an “entitlement” mentality towards life. Some graduate from college and expect a job to be waiting. Others once on the job, expect a certain benefit package: full health coverage, minimum two-weeks per year vacation, stock options and others. Still others expect life outside of college or graduate school to be much like it was inside. Once they graduate and enter into today’s workforce, they find that such things are earned, not simply given.
I say this not just as an observer, but also as a participant. When I graduated from college and then seminary, I expected getting a job would come easy. It was not. To be honest, I finished not even sure what I wanted to do with my life. Much has changed since then. Those who have been reading this newsletter for a while can probably testify to the many job and career changes I have made over the years. I do not even claim to be finished changing courses yet, though I do think I am more certain of my future in therapy than I was in my careers in ministry or chaplaincy.
So, now looking back at how “naïve” I was when I graduated and at what I have learned over the years, my outlook now is not one of entitlement, but one of inheritance. I am not interested in what I am entitled to or what everyone “should do” for me. Instead, I am increasingly more interested in what I am leaving behind for the generation coming behind me. A mentor of mine, Greg Bourgond, would call this my legacy. As I continue to work towards completing my Doctorate in Marriage & Family Therapy and becoming a therapist myself, I find myself approaching what I am learning not just for my benefit, but also for the benefit of those who will come after me. How can I help them become better people? It is not just about who I am becoming, but also about who those who are watching me are becoming, as a result of how I live my life?