"Inspiration Owes You Absolutely Nothing"

For me, the word entitlement, the way I want to repurpose it and reclaim it is not about saying, ‘I deserve every outcome I want.’ Because that, to me, is childish — childishness is not limited to young people, by the way. That is something that extends through all of us; we all have a bit of that in us.

Entitlement doesn’t mean, ‘I want it therefore I deserve it.’ The entitlement that I’m talking about is the entitlement that’s got this sort of dignity. I call it barefoot dignity. You’re just standing in your personhood in your bare feet and you’re not saying, ‘I’m the greatest.’ You’re saying, ‘I am.’

I am a member of this society.

I am a child of God.

I am a human being on my path, and I want to tap into the most interesting and fascinating part of human consciousness, which is creativity.

And I have the right to do that.

I have the right to pursue that.

I have the right to explore that.

I have the right to play around with materials.

I have the right to engage in this even if I don’t have the proper kind of training, even if I don’t have a permission slip from the principal’s office, even if I don’t have a degree, even if I don’t have the backing of the right sort of people, even if I don’t have the right contacts, even if I don’t live in the right city.

All of those things are erased by the kind of entitlement that I’m talking about, that just says, “I want to do this because I want to play with this mystery and I want to engage in this, too, as my ancestors did, as your ancestors did.” This is our shared human inheritance.

The problem is when you start to say, ‘And therefore I should get everything out of it that I want.’ Inspiration owes you absolutely nothing, other than the pleasure of its company.
— Elizabeth Gilbert on entitlement, via The Lively Show