Thursday, September 22, 2011

You deserve nothing. Remember that.

Today was one of those days where I was experiencing a writer's block of sorts. After having recently completed the Masonic Youth Minutes, I'm now putting the finishing touches on the next issue of the Keystone Crusader. This means that I have done a lot of writing in the last two weeks. So, as I normally do in times like these, I turn to other bloggers for inspiration. As usual, I found some of that inspiration over at the Art of Manliness blog.

Recently, they posted an article on personal finance. Now, many of our members think they are too young to worry about money management. However, from the first time you collect a paycheck, you are managing your money. Most of us do this in a pretty poor fashion, but sometimes we can learn to adjust our habits and stabilize our financial well being.

In this article, entitled "4 Personal Finance Principals that Would Your Grandfather Proud", author Baker discusses some ideas on handling money. The four key points are Resourcefulness, Awareness, Negotiation, and Non-entitlement. Rather than rehash them here, I'll let you read the article for yourself. I will make one more addition to this discussion, however.

If there is one thing Generation Y / Millenials (meaning someone born after 1980) are despised for, it's the "entitlement" attitude. I have criss-crossed the Commonwealth speaking to Lodges and Masonic bodies about the Masonic Youth Groups and young Freemasons. At almost every one of these events I hear the previous generations lament how they thoroughly abhor young people who seemingly feel like they "deserve" things without working for them. They gnash their teeth and stomp their feet when I tell them what they need to do to attract young members and how they have to let them have a say. I have been called various sundry names and told in no uncertain terms that "if they want the fraternity to change for them, then they can go somewhere else." Well, that's certainly a way to get new members, now isn't it?

At one of these events, I had a Past Master say something that I never thought of before, but that was incredibly profound. As I was getting chewed on by some of the older members, he raised his hand and waited to be called on. Then, in a simple tone of voice he said "Hey guys, you may not like his generation or their attitudes, but remember on thing - we raised them that way." Wow! Talk about a face palm moment!

Now, I don't disagree with the previous generations. We, as young people, do have an undue level of self worth that most of us haven't earned. Yet, each of us is a product of the generations that have come before. There are certain personality traits and generational attitudes that come with our age group; but we needn't fall into the norm. We, as DeMolays, have proved ourselves better than the masses. Take some time to think about what you have and where you are going. Be thankful for that and not always lusting after the next great thing.

As the article says "You deserve nothing. Remember that."

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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