A self-destructive tree of entitlement

    I come from an apple of a country. A country that is beautiful and picturesque, but the core is completely rotten and worm-ridden. The mountains are high, bare and offer a view to die for while the forests are bursting with life and diversity. The system, on the other hand, is broken and stuffed with people who don’t really care what, who or where [insert any verb], as long as they can secure a seat (any seat) in the next term. It’s like a fun game of musical chairs only that this one is ruining the country.

    However, I write this article with a purpose to inspire and offer a solution that has proven itself to be sound in every system, always, period.

    During my university years there were classmates that we sarcastically called The Crusaders of Justice. People who never really did anything significant but kept complaining what the system should be like and what the professors should and should not do. It is the same today with people who claim that capitalism is a bad system because of one thing or another. They complain about what is wrong instead of doing and using the things that are good and work. Truth be told, in socialism, capitalism, communism, etc., there were people who went bankrupt and people who became a success. So can we possibly entertain the idea that it might not be the system but the people in it that are the key factor?

    I will agree that many leading members of society are completely incapable of using the system for the public good but that does not mean the public has to suffer. No matter what a system is like and no matter how a system is being run, either of these factors do not seal our fate if we don’t decide otherwise.

    It was quite early that I realised some of the faults and decided to take my future into my own hands because it sure is much better off here than in the hands of the people that were supposed to take care of me.

    Here I giggle, because I have stumbled upon something that I got from the society I grew up in, which is a silly little conviction that has never done anything other than hinder me. I’m talking about the belief that someone is supposed to take care of me. The truth is that nobody owes us anything but still we march on with that false sense of entitlement. If you want to get something in life, you’re going to have to go and get it, because the people you think should get it for you, sometimes have a hard time taking care of themselves.

    One simple example that is sadly only too common today are retirement funds. People give a piece of their pay check every month for their retirement but despite all evidence stating otherwise, they still believe that this money is going toward their pensions. In truth, it only unsuccessfully tries to fill a financial gap which is, ironically, also getting bigger. Imagine wanting to fill in a hole by digging a new one next to it and throwing the dirt from the second pit into the first one with someone taking two thirds of dirt from every shovelful you throw. But why do the people refuse to see this? Because the money is supposed to go toward their retirement. Most people don’t want to accept what the world is actually like because it’s not supposed to be like that. Guess what, there is no manual on how the world is supposed to be run.

    What I suggest is what most successful people are doing. Look at the world as it is and draw your path on the world map, not on an imaginary treasure map your grand-parents passed down to you from their attic of “the world that used to be”.

    Careful! Before doing this, discard the belief that all successful or rich people are corrupt and just plain bad people. Most rich and successful people are good and, luckily, they do more good than the bad that the bad people do. “But Nejc, why do we rarely hear of those people?” you might ask. Well, because your daily newspaper realised that sh*t sells and has gone past the point of education and informing into selling more newspapers than the other guy because the honest truth is that sh*t does indeed sell.

    Yeah yeah, I know, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. So what are you going to do about it? Be part of the problem, which includes the people who keep complaining from their couch or protesting in the streets? Or be part of the solution, the people who see that there is a way out into individual freedom that does not come at the cost of the wellbeing of our fellow people but rather inspires them into action toward their own freedom.

    The key is responsibility. Everything that is happening to you is under your control. Assume responsibility (not blame) for everything going on in your life wither because you are doing it or because you are letting it be done to you. Move into this position of power because only with power can you actually start making a difference. Start with a simple mind shift. Whenever you find yourself saying something like “I can’t do anything about this/I can’t afford this” throw that out and ask yourself “What can I do about this?/How can I afford this?” You will see wonders happen when you focus your brain into this new productive direction.

    Don’t believe me? Try it out, I dare you. Connect with me and give me your feedback and share your story.

    Remember, by choosing to be helpless you are not only giving some outside factor the power over you but you are also passing up the chance to be an inspiration to someone else who might need it desperately.

    It was the late great Jim Rohn, a man of inspiration and majestic insight, who said something so profoundly simple and witty yet critical: “If you don’t like how things are, change it. You are not a tree.”

Humbly yours,

Nejc Oblak



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