There is a dangerous wave sweeping across the American landscape – this overwhelming feeling of entitlement. Somewhere along the way, we went from a country willing to work for what we earned to a country that prefers everything be given to us.
As the socialistic ideals of Bernie Sanders continue to garner support throughout the millennial generation, one thing has quickly become evident – this mindset isn’t changing any time soon. With the outcry for free college tuition reaching deafening levels, students around the country have even planned demonstrations to support this cause.
When I first enrolled into college in 2006 as an 18-year-old freshman, I sat down and signed financial aid papers. I knew that my family and I could not afford to pay my tuition out of pocket, so I applied for loans – knowing full well that one day those loans would need to be repaid. And just in case I wasn’t aware of this repayment, it was stated on every form in which I applied my signature.
Nine years later, here I sit with a college degree and over $60,000 in student loan debt. While sometimes I have openly questioned whether or not college is worth the investment, never have I questioned if I should be held responsible for repaying the loans I received.
It is embarrassing that we have come to this point as a country – a point where we legitimately believe having a government that acts as our personal trust fund is in our best interest. A point where we believe that a government should be responsible for paying the loans we agreed to reimburse one day.
A point where members of our society have begun to completely disregard common sense.
For many of us, we understand that “free” hardly means just that. However, we live in a world now that prefers to be catered to and rebukes the idea of detailed research to better understand issues and topics. So now, “free” has become a way of life and an ideal that is promised to us by politicians pandering to our weaknesses in search of a simple vote.
Gone are the days where we do our own research to form a sound opinion. Instead we rely on media talking heads, charismatic leaders, well-known actors and flashy propaganda advertisements to tell us what we should believe.
This isn’t a new mindset for our society, in fact it is one that was very much alive and well as recent as 2012. Even Howard Stern couldn’t resist the opportunity to pull back the veil of uninformed thinking in our country.
Being thoroughly uninformed and desiring the ability to be void of responsibility is a dangerous road to travel down. In fact, if you want to see where traveling that kind of path will lead you, just take a look at our government’s $18 trillion deficit.
Instead of running from our responsibilities, we should be ensuring that others be given the information to be better decisions. Instead of fighting for free college, we should be encouraging those in high school to take hard looks at community colleges and trade schools if they can’t afford larger universities.
Instead of demanding our student loans be covered, we should be fighting for lower interest rates and better pre-college education for students and families to better understand the financial process.
Instead of complaining about now having to pay on our prior commitments, we should be owning up to our debts and past choices.
What happened to being men and women who honored our word? I agreed to sign off on my college loans knowing one day I would need to repay them. I made that decision and it is my responsibility to face the consequences if I choose not to repay them – not the responsibility of the government.
At the same time, I know that not everyone wants to repay $60,000 in loans one day. And that is totally understandable and respectable. That is why we have great alternatives in this country such as public institutions, community colleges and trade schools – affordable opportunities to receive a quality education.
Unfortunately our society wants the freedom to have everything we desire, without having to take any responsibility. And our irresponsibility is on full display now for the world to see thanks to student protests and support for a candidate who prides himself on promoting reckless legislation.
Once upon a time we were a country that worked to ensure our personal success apart from a controlling government. We informed ourselves and took responsibility for our actions.
Somehow, along the way, we became something drastically different – and it’s heartbreaking.
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