Another batch of high school seniors is set to graduate in the coming weeks.  My own son is among them.  Soon, these 18 year-old young men and women will exit the school doors for the final time.  Some will go to college in the fall.  Some will go to technical training schools or even the military.  Others will go to work.  And some will do nothing.  They’ll sit around, milking mom and dad or grandma and grandpa for whatever they can get.  But this message is directed at all of them, from the Class of 2016 and more.

We have a sub culture in our society that is slowly sucking the life out of all of us.  It’s the entitlement culture, people who honestly believe that everyone owes them something.  They have all sorts of reasons as to why you and I owe them.  You can find these leeches in all walks of life.  The come in every race, color, both sexes and a variety of heights and weights.   They can range in age from 16 to 80 but the vast majority fall squarely in that 18-35 crowd, those born between 1980 and 1997.

Every generation has its share of those who do just enough to get by, those who do little or nothing at all and expect the rest of us to pick up the slack.  But the problem has grown out of control.  You’ve heard ‘good help is hard to find’, right?  Well, it’s harder than ever before.  Just ask anyone who owns a business, particularly a restaurant.  That 18-35 crowd in particular seems to be populated with individuals who not only lack a strong work ethic, but are so lacking in social skills they can barely put two sentences together without using the word ‘like’ every other breath.

We have to turn this train around, so I have a few cruel, hard truths that the Class of 2016 needs to take to heart.  YOU need to be the generation that really makes America great again and shut down this entitlement mentality.

You are not entitled to anything you don’t earn.

I hate to get all preachy, but I’ll direct your attention to 2 Thessalonians 3:10- “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”  It’s not only Biblical, it’s just common sense.  You’re not entitled to dine on someone else’s dime from now on, so get a job.  Any money or other things you receive that you did not earn-if they come from friends or family or whoever-those are most likely gifts.  Say thank you and go forward with no expectations of getting any more from them.  If it appears on your EBT card, that’s called welfare. That’s money that’s being taken from me and redistributed to you.  You’re welcome.  Please don’t get too comfortable with it.  It (hopefully) won’t be coming your way forever.

Life is not fair. 

I know this one hurts.  You do not, nor should you, get everything you demand or desire.  That’s not how this works.  That’s not how any of this stuff called life works!  You will be disappointed.  You will be told no.  You will be offended.  You will lose more than you win, especially at the casino.  Life is a gamble, kids.  Your odds can improve in life (but rarely at the casino-sorry) if you’ll just make the effort!  Anything in life worth doing is worth doing well.  Yeah, it’s a bit cliché, but it is truth.  The late Otis C. Polk Jr, principal at Kirby Junior High during the early and mid-80’s, used to tell us every morning during announcements, ‘You can make it if you try, but YOU have to do the trying’.  He’d also lead the Pledge of Allegiance and give an opening prayer.  Today, someone would get ‘offended’ and he’d probably be fired.  His methods were far more effective that he may have even realized.  And by the way, you do not have a right to not be offended.  People will say things you don't like.  So what?  Grow a spine already and suck it up buttercup.

You are not as special as you’ve been told and you don’t get a participation ribbon for ‘adulting’.

I don’t even think that’s actually a word-‘adulting’.  But you are expected to do it.  Be an adult.  Be responsible for yourself so others do not have to.  We’ve spent so much time as a society trying to be ‘fair’ to everyone that many have lost the ability to accept any degree of failure and some people actually think they deserve $15 an hour just for showing up.  I don’t care how many times a day your mom still tells you how special you are, you really are not.  You are human, very likely an American and definitely expected to carry your own  weight.  You may have some special skills or talents.  And if you do, I’m probably preaching to the choir in your case anyway, so no worries.  As for the rest of you, accept the fact that effort is half the battle and be ready to give plenty of it.  (See fact number 1 for further instruction / inspiration)

You are NOT entitled to a college education.

This has become one of my biggest pet peeves, this notion that everyone has a ‘fundamental right’ to higher education.  Can someone please point out to me where in the Constitution this appears?  Oh, right.  It doesn’t!  Want to go to college?  Fantastic.  Get good grades in high school and there’s a plethora of scholarship opportunities out there.  Show mom and dad you’re serious about it and maybe they’ll tote the note for you.  Get a part time job or maybe two and pay for it yourself.  And there are already guaranteed student loans out there, which will leave you in debt up to your eyeballs.  But the notion that, by virtue of birth and the fact that you’re an American citizen, that you are entitled to free college, is the most idiotic, absurd and insulting notion ever to leave the pie hole of a politician.

Take note: Bernie Sanders has no intention on delivering on his promises of free stuff.  There is no such thing.  Whether is healthcare or college, someone is toting the note. We (the country) do NOT have the money to fulfil this nonsense and he knows it.  He’s just pandering for your vote.  Its crooked politics 101- promise the ‘sheeple’ everything they desire and they’ll follow you right off the cliff.

Pull up your pants and dress like you give a damn.

If you dress like a thug and act like a thug, you’ll be treated like a thug.  No, thug is not a racist term.  It can apply to anyone regardless of race, color, sex or national origin.  It’s all about behavior and character.  Don’t act like a criminal, better yet don’t be a criminal and guess what?  Society won’t treat you like a thug / criminal.  Imagine the concept!  Cut the Billy Bad Ass act, pull your pants up and act like you care about your own future and the future of your country.  If you want a job, dress the part.  Don’t show up at an interview in baggy, saggy pants and a throwback jersey and expect to be taken seriously. I’m quite sure they don’t teach such etiquette in high school.  It’s not on the test.