Having lived in China for a year now, I’m starting to become more aware of the Chinese mindset in a communist society. I teach at one of the best high schools in the country, where all of the students feel entitled for the best education. They should be credited for their hard work, but unfortunately they will never learn to appreciate what they’re learning or later reflect on their accomplishments. Get into the best school, get the top scores, and get accepted into the best college in America. That’s the goal of every Chinese student. To make matters even more stressful for the student, the parents take that goal to a whole different level. They feel their children are entitled to the best, simply based on numbers and names. This not only occurs in China, but in almost every country that has a competitive society. What’s different here is that almost all Chinese children are raised in the exact same way, just some are given a silver spoon, while others are given a plastic one.
Orthodox Jews have a similar entitlement, but in their case it involves religion and the afterlife. They believe all people are given an equal start and have all the necessary “tools” to reach their greatest potential in life and level of connection with Yahweh. Aside from the nonsense of this mindset and the absurd belief that all people have the same opportunities in life, we can see how the Chinese and orthodox jews relate. They are both on a mission to accomplish as much as possible in order to be the best. The way the Chinese raise their children can partly be credited to their genuine love for their child, but mostly it’s for selfish reasons and pride. Chinese parents want their child to be the best in every positive category imaginable. They want their child to be able to take care of them when they’re old as well. Again, many other countries are the same way, but I have not seen it in such a level and conformity before.
A child who feels entitled to something loses the whole point and learning experience of thing they just accomplished. While there is nothing worth accomplishing during a passover seder (for those of us who live in reality anyway) a great example can be seen here. When I was younger, I was always focused on one thing during the seder: Finding the afikomen. It’s a part of the seder a piece of matzah is hidden by the father. Instead of focusing on the true meaning of the seder, I was fully determined to find that piece of matzah and get my prize. We aren’t talking some piece of bubblegum lollipop. One year I got a new gameboy and the newest pokemon game just for finding a small piece of unleavened fucking bread. Not all Jewish families give gifts for finding it, but most do, and some families I know give even more fancy gifts. The same could be said for kids that are entitled to gifts on Christmas.
I hope my students (and all kids who feel entitled to something) will someday realize the true gifts are the intellectual progress and rewards of their accomplishments.Accomplishments that benefit society and not those that only focus on rankings and pleasing some imaginary schmuck in the sky.