By anguillian July 24, 2017 12:19



Anguillians are often described as having a sense of entitlement which results in the expectation that certain benefits will accrue to us without actually being earned. Some of us question whether this is real or imagined? Sadly, there is evidence to suggest that it is real.

Men are no longer playing the role they traditionally played in terms of being providers and protectors of their families. The promotion of equality and gender affairs was never meant to result in men assuming a lesser role in securing the welfare of their families. Why is it that fewer and fewer men appear to be concerned with providing a roof over the heads of their family members? Why is it that so many men have to be pursued to provide financial assistance for the care and development of their children? Many Anguillian men appear to have no desire to acquire further knowledge, skills or experience so as to equip themselves to better provide for themselves and their families. A glaring observation, which is often made in relation to the pursuit of opportunities at the Anguilla Community College and the UWI Open Campus, is that very few men are enrolling in the varied programmes offered by these institutions. Despite these obvious failings, many Anguillian men still expect to be honoured and revered by their parents, wives and children and to be the first choice for recruitment and promotion by businesses desirous of establishing themselves as creditable enterprises. This behaviour lends credibility to the view that Anguillians have a sense of entitlement.

While it is rather obvious that many Anguillian men are failing to pursue opportunities to advance themselves, it has also been noted that Anguillians generally are not pursuing opportunities for advancement to the same extent as non-Anguillians, who reside among us. This too is obvious when one considers the enrolment for the various subject offerings at the Anguilla Community College and the UWI Open Campus. Interestingly, while it does not appear that we have lost our hunger for advancement, it does appear that we now expect such advancement without any effort on our part.
Parents and community members no longer seem to subscribe to the maxim that ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’. This is reflected in how comfortable many of us appear to be with the litter that can be found in many places in Anguilla. School administrators seem unperturbed by the litter which is strewn throughout the school grounds on a daily basis. Apparently, parents and teachers alike feel that students should not be required to ensure that their surroundings are clean because persons are being paid to do that. At a time when the infrastructural needs are overwhelming it would be helpful if we at least demonstrated some pride in our surroundings and a willingness to assist in keeping them clean. Values are not dependent on money – hence the scarcity of funds cannot be an acceptable excuse for the unclean state of our school environs. An entitlement mentality, which caters to the view that cleaning up after ourselves is not necessary because we have persons employed for that purpose, is unhelpful and engenders poor values in our children.

A growing concern for form over substance is evident in the behaviour of some public officials. The acquisition of titles appears to be more important than the diligent pursuit of the duties associated with any lofty position attained. To be seen and accorded titles is demanded while the daily grind, which should be associated with the position attained, goes unattended. This attitude communicates a high level of irresponsibility and a lack of humility. While persons, upon assuming certain positions should be accorded honour, it is generally accepted that the honour should be deserving because of the person’s conduct rather than the mere acquisition of the title. Assuming an entitlement to a title which is unearned by appropriate conduct, does not augur well for the development of a culture which will justify more responsibility being accorded to Anguilla and Anguillians on our journey towards independence.

An examination of our changing values and our growing sense of entitlement is not complete without considering our contribution to the erosion of our value system. We must, therefore, ask these questions – Are we contributing to this new environment, where long held values associated with what makes us Anguillian are being eroded? Are deadbeat husbands and parents allowed to feel that they have earned the right to be revered by their wives and children? Do parents insist that children clean up their play areas and rooms at home, or must this be attended to by a parent or the maid? Do teachers traverse litter strewn school grounds without a word to students about its condition? Are Anguillians being hired and promoted only on the strength of being Anguillian? Our individual decisions and actions contribute to our culture. Is it even remotely possible that we say and do things which cause persons to feel entitled to acquire the property of others through illegal acts? We need to closely guard our words and actions. As the saying goes – ‘If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem’. Will you be a part of the problem or the solution? We must each choose wisely.

By anguillian July 24, 2017 12:19
  • A N V

    The sense of entitlement is one that I here level at Anguillians quite frequently; alas I am saddened to report that this is not just a problem for Anguillians. I lived in the USVI back in the 80s and I often heard the natives say when they felt entitled, I born hey! With regards to the very valid point you made about young people in school believing that they should not clean up their litter because someone is being paid to it. Again that problem is not unique to Anguilla. I live in the UK and I see it all the time, young people dropping litter everywhere with total disregard for their environment. A member of staff in my off was asked to take his breakfast bowl, coffee cup and lunch plate back to the kitchen, the response was, why should I, that’s what we have cleaners for.
    I think that everything that you have covered in the article is endemic of the society in which we live today.

  • Anonymous

    Say one you say two..why aren’t there programs to teach me how to man up and children how to
    beautify their surroundings by starting to pick up trash?

    • Crucian Yardie

      You need the government to teach you that?!??!


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