I worry, folks, that our American way of life, one built on striving and achievement, is in danger of going the way of the dinosaurs.

I worry because there is an sense of entitlement that has become widespread amongst us and among our children.

Case in point: I stopped in Kroger after church yesterday to grab donuts and milk for our bunch plus the two friends my kiddos had invited over to play. In the bakery section, as I loaded up the bag with those yummy fried goodies (on the list of things I'm not eating this Lent), a boy - about eight years old - came racing past me toward the free cookie bin.

It was empty; he raced past me in the other direction to search for them elsewhere.

Meanwhile, his mother patiently tried to explain that they were empty, they were ALL empty.

His {loud and angry} response, after racing around the Bakery department?

"But they're SUPPOSED to be here!! They're ALWAYS here!"

Oh my.

I know - this is a small and trivial example; who am I, mother to three who have all thrown their fair share of fits in-store, to offer judgement?

I'm not judging the mom -- for goodness sakes, that woman was far calmer and more rational than I would have been if the tables had been turned. I've left many a store when one of my offspring decided to have a throw-down tantrum; I don't need groceries that badly.

No, what bugs me is how angry this older boy was that he wasn't getting his usual freebie.

I watch the news late at night and see more and more evidence of a culture run amok on entitlement. I deserve a nice house! I should get to go to college too! I want a nice job where I don't get my hands dirty!

It trickles down, and has trickled down for years now, to our children, both by the public school system and by our parenting.

Did you go pee-pee in the potty, little Johnny? Hurray - here's a piece of candy.

Did you show up (or not-- did you parents pay the registration fee? is common as well) for all your soccer games? Yeah! Everyone gets a trophy.

We can't leave anyone behind as per the law states, so let's teach to the test and forget about our role as educators to challenge our students by raising expectations, elevating standards, and following through on consequences for bad behavior (rather than running scared from potential litigation from irate parents).

Where does it end, all this entitlement without genuine merit?

It ends here today, with our economy in a righteous mess of credit gone bad, credit that never should have been extended by the banking institutions that saw only an opportunity to line their own pockets.

And yet it continues with the economic policies being enacted by the current administration. I'm sorry, President Obama, in my personal experience running a budget for my household, I've never found a way to get out of debt by spending money that I don't have.

Or by spending my children's money that they haven't earned yet, either.

I don't want freebies for all, from the grocery store all the way up to the federal government.

I want fairness for all.

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