plus ça change

What do you do when someone you love has changed?  Or is this who they always were, but your blinders have fallen away?

In my work, there is a clear hierarchy to which professionals adhere and that amateurs at least recognize.

That’s not quite true, I’ll start again.

I’m noticing an ever-widening schism between the entitleds and the hard-workers.  That’s not to say that the entitleds don’t work hard from time to time; they simply have a disproportionate sense of what they are owed for the result.

In my world, there is a clear hierarchy based in large part on respect and courtesy.  Work is a team sport in which everyone contributes, but not equally.  Just as in athletics, there is an owner, a manager, a captain, a quarterback if you will, whose opinions are deferred to with respect not only for their position, but also their wider knowledge and experience.

Of late, however, every opinion appears to be entitled to equal merit, and contrarian is a position that garners attention and power.  Might this derive from the current culture of over-praising children when they do anything other than sit in front of a video screen?  Or from the Internet-driven empowerment of the uninformed opinion?  Wherever it comes from, it is a hugely disturbing trend.

I’ve recently suffered team-mates hogging the process, ensuring that no work or even negative work is what gets done.  And others who are angry because their work, although of course of merit, is so similar with that of others that the garnering of grants or even attention is the proverbial crap-shoot, one which they have lost in the current round, and so they display disproportionately entitled behavior.

Is that oxymoronic – can entitlement ever be considered proportionate?

Perhaps it’s a question of perception.  Did I never before notice the increasing polarization between entitlement and generosity?  Funny, when entitleds are at their most bellicose, generosity is their claim – “I was only thinking of you!”

Which brings me to gullibility: I prefer to trust people, the quickest way to find out if they are trustworthy, and thought I had garnered the honest.  Yet I am spending ever more of my increasingly precious time discerning whose word is good.  Is it a lie to me if they are lying to themselves?  Are they lying at all, or merely narrowing their context, putting on blinders to justify out-and-out rudeness and their demand that I be grateful for their “caring” at all?

What does a simple apology cost?  An admission that they might have made a mistake, might not have had enough information to have ventured an opinion in the first place?

Evidently, more than they can afford.

Do I still love them?  Love never dies.  Can I trust them again?  Likely not.  Do I forgive them?  Of course.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting: it means accepting what happened, releasing emotional ties to what happened, and moving forward with open eyes.

Bereft open eyes.

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