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Thread: Being Given Something, As Opposed to Earning It - Opinions please :)

  1. #1 Being Given Something, As Opposed to Earning It - Opinions please :) 
    Forum Freshman hadams's Avatar
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    Growing up, whenever I borrowed absolutely anything from my mother - whether it was money, an item of clothing, whatever - I would have to pay it back, often with interest. Although the details of these interactions varied, I was never given anything for free. Everything came with a physical/mental/emotional burden that could only be nullified through some kind of satisfactory repayment. Quid. Pro. Quo. Nothing is free.

    When I finished high school, I heard about a girl in my class whose parents had bought her an apartment, just for finishing high school. Other friends' parents' had bought them cars, holidays, etc. Obviously I am biased to my own experiences - I've always paid my own way through life, that's how I was brought up. Admittedly I do have a prejudice against this kind of superfluous giving because of my own experiences, but I'm trying to pinpoint why. I want to know what you guys think, to see whether it's just my own experience striking jealousy in me that some people are just handed things - and I'm not talking trivial things. I'm talking about things that cost upwards of thousands of dollars.

    What do you guys think? Do you believe it's right for people to accept gifts on that scale, or should they be earned?


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    Quote Originally Posted by hadams View Post
    Growing up, whenever I borrowed absolutely anything from my mother - whether it was money, an item of clothing, whatever - I would have to pay it back, often with interest. Although the details of these interactions varied, I was never given anything for free. Everything came with a physical/mental/emotional burden that could only be nullified through some kind of satisfactory repayment. Quid. Pro. Quo. Nothing is free.

    When I finished high school, I heard about a girl in my class whose parents had bought her an apartment, just for finishing high school. Other friends' parents' had bought them cars, holidays, etc. Obviously I am biased to my own experiences - I've always paid my own way through life, that's how I was brought up. Admittedly I do have a prejudice against this kind of superfluous giving because of my own experiences, but I'm trying to pinpoint why. I want to know what you guys think, to see whether it's just my own experience striking jealousy in me that some people are just handed things - and I'm not talking trivial things. I'm talking about things that cost upwards of thousands of dollars.

    What do you guys think? Do you believe it's right for people to accept gifts on that scale, or should they be earned?
    It was interesting to read that some rich folk made their kids earn the things they needed. In the end the kids will most likely inherit their parents wealth any way so I'm all for being a generous while I'm alive so there is less to squabble over later.


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    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    I agree with your reasoning, Hadams.. Gifts of life changing items can do more damage than good..
    The pay back and with some interest is soundly thought of by me.. To build a appreciation of value.. Is important..
    Wealth and generosity can destroy the values of our young.. I would want for the proper appreciation in my offspring.
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    The value of something is what you're willing to pay for it (Economics 101). If you come to expect things to just get handed to you and not having to pay, guess what? Chances are you're not going to value it as much as something you had to work your butt off to get. By your parents raising you in this manner, you may very well value things more, and you've been working on one of the best skills to have: Working towards a goal.
    I can never know I'm right, but I can know that I'm wrong.
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    There is a reason why most people don't parent like that.
    We alredy have a instinct of reciprocity. That's alredy good enough.

    This way to parent, seams to me, rather damages the relation parent child.
    It just too sinister. Does it mean, that they have to pay you to go to their funeral?
    They have to pay nursing to you when they'll be disabled?

    If they are rich. I guess they should progressively give them something.
    So that they progressively learn how to handle a lot of money.

    The "i made my self" is just a myth. Parents help there kids as hard as they can.
    Rich parents help there kids more then poor parents.
    Private lessons, private school, prestigious college, a house, social connections etc....
    If you are poor, you go to public school and then rack up college debt, and then you look for a job.

    If you are rich, and plan to just let your kid get by in life by it self. Its a big error.


    My opinion is. That on small things, just be casual about it. Just give on demand. With normal parenting of course.
    This reinforces the relationship. The brain is not good with math, emotionally he just sees a large number of gifts.
    On larger things, be more contractual and precise about the expectations and responsibilities.
    On large things, the brain only see one conflictual relation. So emotionally it's one conflict versus a large number of gifts.
    Also, the precision of the contract will avoid misunderstandings.
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Well, there's different ways of "paying for something" in a family - you can pay it back or pay it forward. My parents did pay for my university education and my first car. But it was assumed and expected that I would work hard, save enough money, and do the same thing for any children I had, and I expect the same of my daughter. It's a lot easier for an adult to save a large amount over money over 18 years than it is for a teenager working for minimum wage over summer vacation, so I think the way we did it makes more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hadams View Post
    I want to know what you guys think, to see whether it's just my own experience striking jealousy in me that some people are just handed things - and I'm not talking trivial things. I'm talking about things that cost upwards of thousands of dollars.
    It sounds to me like jealousy. But I'm impressed that you are able to be so honest with yourself. Lots of people would harbor those feelings and insist to themselves that it's a matter of morality.


    What do you guys think? Do you believe it's right for people to accept gifts on that scale, or should they be earned?
    I think the tit-for-tat ethic teaches children to work hard instead of smart. It fills a person's mind with this mythology of equal return on equal effort - which is certainly not the way the world works.

    What you get in life is equal return on equal achievement. Effort is only relevant if that effort is what is fueling your achievement. However, quite often it is the use of sound strategy that plays a greater role. That, and using resources available to their fullest extent.

    A farmer can claim to have cultivated the land, planted seeds, and provided (some of) the irrigation. But they can't claim to have created the land itself. Usually quite a lot of their ownership of that land is blind luck, getting born into a position where it would become theirs. A poor worker in Bangladesh could only dream of having the opportunity to work such fine land, and get paid for the value of what is grown on it.

    A child who is given a few things learns humility, because they know they haven't earned all the good things they possess. That humility will serve them well. Arrogance comes before a fall, while humility tends to have the opposite effect.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    Giving something to someone, relieves guilt from you. Receiving something from someone gives guilt with it. I believe nothing should be free if you parent your children. Bad behavior shouldn't be rewarded. Only food, shelter and clothing should be given regardless. Otherwise people will become insensitive to other people's effort or feelings, which you don't want to happen.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    My parents never gave me a car, but did allow me to drive theirs. They paid for my initial attempt to attend college, though the costs were reduced by a national merit scholarship. This initial attempt was a dismal failure, and my lack of personal responsibility and work ethic figured prominently in the reasons why. I never had a job until I was kicked out of college for failing to keep my grades up. All in all, I think my parents were too permissive with me, I would have been better off if they had been more diligent in seeing I learned the value of hard work. High school was a joke to me, I made perfect 4.0 grades my senior year without ever taking a book home. I was utterly unprepared for the level of effort required to succeed at the prestigious university I chose. I did eventually go back to school with greater success paying my own way.

    People do need to learn that hard work is a key to achieving success. It isn't the only key, things like greater resources or native talent and even sheer luck play a role, but hard work is the variable the individual has the most control over. Getting things handed to you does not teach this work ethic.
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    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    A child who is given a few things learns humility, because they know they haven't earned all the good things they possess. That humility will serve them well. Arrogance comes before a fall, while humility tends to have the opposite effect.
    Like.

    And even as an adult, many of the best things that happened to me were windfalls. It's not always much you are given, or how much you earn for yourself, but the ability to see a valuable opportunity and make the most of it in either case.
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