The World is Mine
When I was a little kid I remember times where I wanted things but either my brother would get it before me or my parents wouldn’t let me have it. I remember my body filling with anger and spite as there were things that I felt like they belonged to me were not handed to me. Even to this day I struggle with the fact of feeling entitled to things. Not receiving a promotion, watching my brother get a car while my parents say that I don’t need one. It’s a struggle and it’s probably going to be a struggle for the rest of my life. But it’s a good thing that I am not the only one who struggles with feeling of entitlement. Look at back at history and you will see many stories of people feeling entitled. Some of our wars have been because our government feels entitled to stepping in and taking control of other nations.
In 1637, there was a war for land. The natives had land and the English were there try to take the land from them. They wanted the natives to be submissive and abide by the English rules and regulations. This is what happened:
The English did not understand this, however and soon their relentless demand for Indian land and Indian submission to English law led to Indian resistance. In 1622, Pocahontas’s people rose up against the English settlement in Jamestown, killing some five hundred of the colonists before the attack was put down.”
This was dating back to the 1600’s and attitudes of the English was entitlement. They wanted the natives land and they were not going to take no for an answer. They were going to go to extreme measures for that piece of land. What did it lead to? As it said in the text that it led a battle where hundreds of people were killed. That was just one battle. The result from having the mentality of “What I see is mine” made the natives and the English fight in wars that were so unnecessary.
In another instance if look at a more modern example we will see the same issue with the same result. Looking at the Vietnam we could dig deep and list a bunch of reasons why we should not have gotten into the war. But instead of doing that let’s look at the why we did. The main reason was because we did not want areas of the world to fall in Communist influence. We felt like it was our job to step in and establish what we thought the right thing to do was. The result of this was the U.S. dropping atomic bombs to kill off the enemy. Same issue of mindset. That we felt like we needed to take control of another government and look at the result. Millions of people dead and a war that had no victory.
What kind of mindset do we need? A good start would be to consider the remarks of Benjamin Franklin. “We have, say they as much curiosity as you, but for this purpose we hide ourselves behind bushes, where you are to pass, and we never intrude ourselves into your company.” Now Ben was not part of the North. He was not one to mess with the Natives. He realized that it was their land and that they had the right to stay there and not give it up. The difference with Ben’s mentality was with respect. Clearly if that was everyone’s mind sent in history, there would not have been so much conflict.
The only thing we can hope for in the future is to have leaders of our nation with the mindset of Ben Franklin. That we no longer desire to possess everything. That we would be thankful for what we have and work on perfecting this nation. Rather than trying to perfect other nations.
Franklin, Benjamin. Two Tracts: Information to Those Who Would Remove to America, and, Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America. The Printery, 2004.
Whitehead, Alfred North, and Filmer Stuart Cuckow Northrop. Alfred North Whitehead: an Anthology. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009.