T Nation

'Nobody Owes You Anything!'


#1

I remember this stupid line being spouted almost as or as much as, "It is what it is." Both seemed to have their origins of overuse around the financial meltdown of 2008.

What comes to your mind when you hear this line? Being primarily a collectivist, I find this line to be totally asinine because taken literally, it implies that no one in our society owes their fellow a citizens a damn thing, and taken to the extreme lends to the breakdown of civilization.

What is the point of even trying to create or uphold a civilization if no owes anyone anything! If a society does not owe its citizens anything, then individuals owe it nothing either, so proponents of this line shouldn't be surprised when individuals act unfairly or inappropriately or don't have any loyalty to their employers or don't put their best effort into their work.

According to this line, I don't owe my fellow citizen politeness or fairness or perhaps when interviewing someone for a job, I should grade and reject resumes and candidates on whatever tickles my fancy. (We wouldn't want to play fairly now, would we?)

Thoughts?


#2

Agreed.

Nobody owes you anything. But lots of people are going out of their way to give you stuff anyway. People you will never meet are spending their own money to pass on their lives work to you. Dudes are leaving their families and laying down their lives for you. Everybody else’s taxes pay for your roads, and the sidewalks your kids use. Other business owners are busting their asses. Their combined work forms a nice downtown area, where lots of People come. Then its easier for you to start your business.

The least you can do is use your blinker and not litter.

And not discriminate against customers your neighbors worked to attract.


#3

I agree and disagree with the statement. On the one hand, today there is a sense of entitlement which is pervasive in our culture. Recently I was having a conversation with some new hires about jobs. They were complaining that they had to apply to “so many places” and got “so many rejections”.

So I asked them, “Did you cold call the company and inquire about positions?” and “Did you write resumes and cover letters that were tailored to the employer/reviewer?” The responses I got were “No, that is a waste of my time.” and “That is too much work.” then proceeded to describe how they got a college degree and that should be enough to get them employed.

In this sense, you are not entitled to employment just because you got a degree. There are too many degree holders today (a good fraction unqualified, but I don’t want to go down that road) and one has to do what it takes to stand out. That means putting in the extra hours calling employers. That means writing a specific resume and cover letter for each employer and positions. That means DOING WHAT IT TAKES to get ahead, and that concept of “effort beyond the average is lost to people today” partially because they feel they “earned it” without doing anything extra from anyone else.

Now, on the other hand, people today are also very self absorbed and apathetic. “Nobody owes you anything” is frequently used as an excuse to be lazy (not so different from above) and self centered to avoid helping another person. I agree that this type of attitude will contribute (and already is) to our downfall.

Ill use another example from a similar context. When I applied to jobs I got rejected several times. After I heard the bad news I would usually call the employer and inquire about the interview, asking what I did wrong or what they thought I could have improved upon, or what kind of candidate they were looking for. I got mixed responses: some people were very helpful, but the majority were very dismissive.

The quintessential responses were “I don’t have time to give that kind of feedback.”, “We don’t disclose that information”, “We will get back to you (never heard from again).”, or simply my call wasn’t returned.
Yes, I understand I am not entitled to that information, but it would be A NICE GESTURE to take 5 minutes out of your day to HELP a new candidate improve their job prospects via feedback and corrective action.

For example, a candidate would benefit to know they came off as too nervous, unconfident or too cocky, so on their next interview they could adjust and practice. It would also be nice to know if the position was simply closed. The concept of doing something nice for someone just to be nice and help another person, with no expectation of a returned favor is also lost on our culture. I frequently see people acting more important or busy than they actually are and it drives me nuts. Maybe they feel powerful in those moments, I don’t know. My usual response to assholes like that is “Oh Im sorry, I forgot you are negotiating those mergers with Google for your fortune 500 company. It must be tough being CEO.” Ironically, most CEOs I have met have been very nice and helpful.


#4

Leaders show us the way.
Heroes pay the cost.
Free riders come along for the ride.


#5

I agree with it, but I don’t take it 100% literally. I interpret it as that I should prosper through determination and hard work, not entitlement.


#6

X2

unfortunately this ideology is becoming rare in today’s society


#7

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#8

I’m so far left on the political scale that it would make some PWI veterans puke. As such, I think it depends on the context and on who says this. People in the US and Western Europe are, to large degrees, so much better off than the majority of mankind that complaining about little shit seems incredibly ignorant and thick-headed - cp. Aero’s post. On the other hand, we’ve been dealing with (the aftermath of?) a financial crisis that was largely caused by greedy investors who burned a lot of hard working people’s savings in the process, got bailouts and are doing just as well. The top 1% own staggering amounts of the world. To anyone trying to argue that these are hard-working and therefore deserving rich people: no one works that much harder than a sweatshop employee who makes a dollar a day.
Long story short: We live in a world of incredible inequality but we also have issues with entitlement. There’s more than one side to every story.

RE: the entitlement stuff: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/01/08/the_most_entitled_generation_isnt_millennials_its_baby_boomers_125184.html


#9

This what I think of when I read that statement.

That isn’t the best statement because you have to decide when to take it literally. I am not owed anything just for being here. If I loan someone $100 fully expecting to be paid back…That mother fucker owes me $100 bucks.

Everything you have ever wanted has already been deposited in your account. It is up to the individual to find the way to make withdraws.

Think of the abundance of the universe. Take subatomic particles for example. It is said that a speck of dust is the halfway point in the size scale between a subatomic particle and Earth! And everything can be traced back to subatomic particles. So the abundance of the universe of subatomic particles is not possible to comprehend by the human mind. There is information inside the binding of these particles, that is where the saying “information is all around you, you just have to grab it” comes from. Stephen Hawking just recently came up with a theory about black holes that the information in the matter that is sucked into a black hole is released from the matter and hovers around the entrance of the black hole like a cloud. People do have different beliefs on where the information comes from that is locked in the binding of these subatomic particles, I believe it comes from a higher power. GOD. So, GOD has created the universe with incomprehensible abundance. Everything you have ever wanted has already been deposited in your account. It is up to the individual to find the way to make withdraws.

Wait…what were we talking about?


#10

“No man is an island.”

Every meaningful success comes out of hard work, yet to deny that it was without some assistance from others along the way is disingenuous.


#11

While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.


#12

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.[/quote]

How so?


#13

It just means that you should work hard and do your best to support yourself, not that you should be a dick to everyone for no reason. I think you’re reading too much into this.


#14

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.[/quote]

How so? [/quote]
You are citing an employee and an interviewer(also an employee) as examples when they do owe a duty to their respective employers since they are getting paid for their services.


#15

.


#16

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.[/quote]

How so? [/quote]
You are citing an employee and an interviewer(also an employee) as examples when they do owe a duty to their respective employers since they are getting paid for their services.[/quote]

It’s one example. Usually, in my experience, those who were using this mindset actually meant it judging from the context in which they were speaking.


#17

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:
I think you’re reading too much into this.[/quote]

As I said, most who have stated this, meant it. And they weren’t talking about pulling one’s own weight, rather they were speaking of a justification to be unfair to someone else.


#18

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.[/quote]

How so? [/quote]
You are citing an employee and an interviewer(also an employee) as examples when they do owe a duty to their respective employers since they are getting paid for their services.[/quote]

It’s one example. Usually, in my experience, those who were using this mindset actually meant it judging from the context in which they were speaking. [/quote]

Then they will simply lose their jobs and join the side that whines about what they’re entitled to lol.


#19

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.[/quote]

How so? [/quote]
You are citing an employee and an interviewer(also an employee) as examples when they do owe a duty to their respective employers since they are getting paid for their services.[/quote]

It’s one example. Usually, in my experience, those who were using this mindset actually meant it judging from the context in which they were speaking. [/quote]

Then they will simply lose their jobs and join the side that whines about what they’re entitled to lol.[/quote]

I am not just talking about jobs.


#20

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” - Adam Smith

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I agree some people are prone to thinking in extremes, your examples are quite ridiculous, Brick.[/quote]

How so? [/quote]
You are citing an employee and an interviewer(also an employee) as examples when they do owe a duty to their respective employers since they are getting paid for their services.[/quote]

It’s one example. Usually, in my experience, those who were using this mindset actually meant it judging from the context in which they were speaking. [/quote]

Then they will simply lose their jobs and join the side that whines about what they’re entitled to lol.[/quote]