Derail the pity train and start living Print
Live Greater
Thursday, May. 13, 2010 -- 12:00 AM

Live Greater by Jon Leonetti

Entitlement. The idea many of us take on in which we truly believe that we deserve what we have. And it doesn't stop there. We often find that this idea of entitlement, once bought into, quickly turns into pity. Self-pity.

From deserving what I have, to thinking that I deserve more. We train ourselves into thinking that "what I have, though I deserve it," is simply not good enough.

We complain (notice I am saying "we" here) about the way our day "should have gone," rather than thinking critically of what choices we could have made, today, to create a healthier and happier life . . . a life where we look to our challenges and difficulties as a way to build ourselves into a faithful and hopeful people.

I have met some pretty un-happy people. And most of the time (listen for it) their lives would be "happier" if they had just "one more thing." Rather than concentrating on what we do have and counting those blessings, we often choose to think of "the more" that we could have . . . or . . . "deserve."

And why is that? We are some of the most fortunate people in the world. Are we trained to think this way? I would say, yes.

Find your blessings

But there is hope. As much as we have been trained to view our world as something that should be handed to us on a golden platter, we can just as easily un-train ourselves. And I believe it's simple.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a suggestion. Take it or leave it, of course, but it is something that I believe would re-alter the way we think of our world. And that suggestion is to start taking inventory of the graces and blessings within our lives.

Sound cliched? Maybe. But if it was so cliched, I believe it would be acted upon by many more of these un-happy people.

Without a clear, steady, and daily inventory of the many blessings and graces we have been given there is simply no way around the trap of entitlement and pity. We have to stop being a people whose only reflection throughout a day is what kind of latte we want at Starbucks and start being a people who reflects on the reality of God's goodness that He has bestowed on us.

By taking this inventory of our lives, we ultimately start living within true freedom, the freedom of Jesus Christ. Within this freedom, we venture out of ourselves, rediscovering our call to live life the way it was intended to be lived.

Becoming people of hope

Sure, it's not easy. Challenge and difficulty will always be there. But within these seemingly insurmountable struggles lies our purpose . . . to be a people of hope, creating opportunities and making decisions that lead us to true life within our God.

This new vision of freedom within our God will not necessarily make everything better overnight. However, it will give us the vision of Christ, a vision that ultimately looks to the Resurrection. Let's make the commitment to this freedom today, making our purpose reality.

Jon Leonetti, co-founder of Souly Walking, is a Catholic evangelist/radio host and speaker at conferences, schools, and parishes across the country about his cause and his walk across the United States.