Gas Attendants & the Fight for Entitlement

*Day 6 of 31 days of Traveling & Living Overseas with Kids

**All stories are true.IMG_7247

We were driving to the little kids’ Arabic preschool today

when I mentioned to them I’d need to stop by the gas station.

My third child Hallmark asked if he could get out and help me pump.

I reminded him that here there are gas station attendants.

It’s their entire job to pump gas for us.

My ever quick-minded son queries why the States doesn’t have gas station attendants.

Wanting to explain accurately but breaking it down for a 4 year old’s mind,

I explained how in our host country people are willing to work for less money.

The locals recognize the value of work & the rewards for it,

but are still comfortable working in less desirable positions.
IMG_1409This idea is foreign to Americans.

Work and get little pay?

It’s easier to sit at home and see who will help them out.

One of my husband’s famous sayings is:

“I breathe therefore I deserve.”

I have read articles on how college graduates are not willing to
begin their careers at the bottom, but expect to be placed at higher levelswhat they feel most suits them.

Or what about newlyweds who feel it’s not socially acceptable to rent and save money for a mortgage?

Or 16 year olds who expect a brand new car on their birthday?”

I breathe, therefore I deserve.

“Where is hard work, determination, willingness to serve in the States?

Probably in the places most missed…

like the attendants in nursing homes,

the lady next door who weeds for hours in hopes of seeing flowers bloom,

the mom who doesn’t have time for a shower but lovingly brushes her daughter’s hair,

the exhausted father who stays up to read-aloud to his son,

or the locals who work outside all day gardening, washing our cars, cleaning the driveways and maintaining our water tanks.

2 thoughts on “Gas Attendants & the Fight for Entitlement

  1. I grew up in the Philippines where we had people who pumped our gas as well. Interestingly, my parents’ explanation to us about self service stations in the US is that it is a more efficient place, and pumping gas yourself is a faster process than having someone else do it. They also attributed it to the more individualistic nature of people in the US, there is a higher need to do it all oneself instead of relying on other people to help out. Funnily enough, I feel a lot more entitled in the Philippines or Sri Lanka having someone put gas in my car, and I feel a lot more “humbled” by the process of putting gas in my own car. But these are the fun conundrums I think we face a lot from the scenarios of life overseas.. there are no easy answers!

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