I once had an acquaintance with two school-aged children. She and her husband were both professional people, earning good incomes. They lived in a custom home in one of the nicest neighborhoods in their town, drove luxury cars, enrolled their children in expensive activities, bought them lavish gifts and took frequent vacations, on which their children usually accompanied them.
On one occasion, they made a quick trip to Las Vegas for a wedding. Even though the husband was busy before the wedding with best man duties, they made an effort to fit in fun activities for the kids, including several hours at a water park. As they were leaving the park to head back to their plush, themed hotel, their daughter, who was nine years old at the time, said, “This is a really crappy vacation.” Who could blame her? Regular trips to Mexico, Hawaii and Disneyworld had left her feeling entitled to vacations that were non-stop childhood fun and entertainment. I was appalled when I heard this story and it occurred to me at the time how it’s often true that people who get everything they want rarely appreciate anything they have.
I was reminded of these spoiled children when I read this.
The White House has cancelled many of the events peace prize laureates traditionally submit to, including a dinner with the Norwegian Nobel committee, a press conference, a television interview, appearances at a children’s event promoting peace and a music concert, as well as a visit to an exhibition in his honour at the Nobel peace centre.
He has also turned down a lunch invitation from the King of Norway.
President Obama is traveling nearly 4,000 miles to Norway to accept an award that he doesn’t deserve. Would it really hurt him to attend “a series of events normally attended by the prizewinner.” Okay, he’s the President of the United States. I understand he’s busy; I understand there are security concerns but, please…turning down lunch with the King? I mean, he has to eat anyway, right? Did he stop to consider that the people of Norway might find a slight to their King to be rude and deeply offensive? And what’s he going to miss, really, by staying for lunch? A chance at another television appearance?
The President’s actions aren’t those of a man who’s humbled by a bestowed honor. They’re the actions of a spoiled and arrogant man who feels entitled to every honor that comes his way, just as he feels entitled to fawning coverage from the press and entitled to servile acquiesence from every member of the Democratic Congressional delegation. They are the actions of a man who doesn’t feel the need to be gracious in victory because feels entitled to win.
Here’s hoping that 2012 will relieve him of that sense of entitlement and provide a much needed lesson in humility.