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the fact of having a right to something.
  • the amount to which a person has a right.
  • the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

Recently, I made a decision to move, (my home and my business), to a different area.  The reasons are many, but ultimately it turned out to be not only a huge challenge, but one packed with new opportunities.  I have always embraced change.  It seems to create new, unseen possibilities.

During this transition period I took time off from work, and focused most of my attention on research regarding criminal behavior and how to avoid violence.  This has always been a priority topic in all of our classes for women.  Rather than only offering tips on how to harden your home, have good situational awareness, etc., I decided it was time to have a more intimate look into what motivates a violent criminal and how their behavior can be more easily recognized.  Specifically, how these topics apply to women and what I can do as an instructor to help women more effectively identify, evade and escape if threatened.  It is not enough to simply say “You need to have good situational awareness.”

Although violent criminals all possess similar characteristics, at different levels, one particular characteristic really gave me reason for further contemplation.  That characteristic or personality trait is “entitlement.”  In light of all the violence in today’s world, one thing seems glaringly clear to me.  Some people simply feel they are entitled to take what they want, even if it harms others.  It is a little frightening really, to realize that we all possess some form of entitlement.  The level or degree of entitlement is what sets the violent criminal apart from the rest of us.  Upon closer examination of this behavior, it seems to rear it’s ugly head in an attempt to control the actions of others, even at levels that some would consider “normal.”  Only through education can we attempt to understand and take appropriate measures to protect ourselves from an unhealthy level of entitlement retained by others.

At what point, and under what circumstances, did our society adopt this sense of entitlement?  And more importantly, how can we change it?  I don’t have the answers, unfortunately.  Recognizing the problem is always the first step to solving it.

I welcome your thoughts, insights and opinions on this subject.  Please leave a comment.