How Much Is Anyone ‘Entitled’ To, in the End?

We are clearly galled by people we believe think they deserve something the rest of us don’t. The unsettled issue, of course, is what anyone deserves in the first place, a question over which we are constantly erupting into pitched battles. Sometimes the issues are broad and societal. (Do you deserve health care, or a home, or a lawyer? Should the government formally entitle you to more of these things?) Sometimes they are personal or mundane. (Do you deserve a thank-you card or to have your text responded to? Is it “entitled” to expect either?) We are able to bring a surprising emotional intensity to our fights over any of these things.

The complete article

Carina Chocano — The New York Times Magazine


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