The child rolls on the floor, fists pounding, legs kicking, big tears flooding down it’s checks, each new cry demanding that it be denied no longer. It wants what it wants. And right now.
We adults, of course, can’t indulge in such tantrums. We can’t throw ourselves on the floor, kicking and screaming. But, there are other ways to be bratty. Ways subtle and not so subtle.
We can pressure, and threaten, and coerce, even steal. Because we too want what we want when we want it. We too, resent being denied.
Then, sometimes, like the child, when we finally get what we were yelling for, we find we really didn’t want it after all. All we wanted was to assert our authority.
Or we disappointed. It wasn’t what we thought it would be. We had deluded ourselves.
O’Lord, teach us that we cannot get everything we want, and what we want is not always best for us. Make use see that difference between acquiring on our own, and the injustice of making demands on others for our own self-gratification.
O’ Lord, let the child in us outgrow its tantrums.
While grown people typically don’t engage in tantrums, laying on the floor, kicking and screaming, I think many people don’t outgrow the behavior they exhibited as children from timidity to bullying.
While my grandmother interpreted some people as asserting their authority to get what they want, even if they later discover it wasn’t what they coveted, I believe these people never had the self-control necessary to quiet their need to constantly get what they want. As babies, they were pampered, getting their way. In kindergarten, they were the ones grabbing other’s toys, and as they grew, they were the bullies, and overbearing teens who trounced on others.
In adulthood, they became entrepreneurs, top sales people, athletes, and promoters who are determined to “win” at all costs. Their tantrums evolved into tirades, intimidating and over-powering co-workers. They are the ones who always need the last word, the most praise, and the perceived, most prestigious positions. They trounce on others to cover up for their deficiencies and slipups.
Hoping these people realize there’s a difference between acquiring on their own, and the injustice of making demands on others for their own self-gratification is naïve. There are stark disparities in how baby boomers, Generation X, and Millennials or Generation Y, see the world. The latter have been shown to have an elevated sense of entitlement and narcissism, having been raised with technology an arms-reach away.
There’s no need to wait or be tolerant when answers are a click-away through a search engine verses wading through a book or encyclopedia. Photos instantaneous instead of waiting for film to be developed. Communication as quick as putting a cell phone to your ear, typing a few sentences (or characters), and clicking “send.” Since childhood, they’ve be entertained and coddled with access to programming that makes learning and passing the time fun and easy. Should they do poorly, they’re told “It’s okay. Everyone’s a winner.”
What’s to be done? There’s nothing to be done, but to realize and acceptance some people will never outgrow their tantrums, and will pin anything that goes wrong, impedes their quest to get ahead, or acquire what they want on the unfortunately people who cross their paths. For them, self-gratification is a higher calling than collaboration and working towards a common cause or attainment.