Give Me, Give Me, Give Me
An Edge Issue Night on Entitlement
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to challenge the middle school youth’s false sense of entitlement. God does not call us to be self-centered or to expect that everything we want will be given to us. Instead He calls us to humility, selflessness, and to trust in Him for our needs.
About this night
The issue of entitlement affects nearly every middle school youth at some point. In fact, even adults can fall into the trap of relying on their “right” to something instead of adhering to the reality that everything we have is from God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Desire for true happiness frees man from his immoderate attachment to the goods of this world so that he can find his fulfillment in the vision and beatitude of God. The promise [of seeing God] surpasses all beatitude. … In Scripture, to see is to possess. …Whoever sees God has obtained all the goods of which he can conceive” (2544). The only thing we really need is God’s grace, and even that is not earned. Be careful that this night stays on topic of the attitude that we have regarding things (feeling entitled) and not that it is a bad thing if we have/own things.
While the topic presents opportunities to teach the youth about Catholic Social Teaching, this Edge Night focuses more on overcoming feelings of entitlement in the young people’s personal lives through humility and awareness. The night begins with a Humble Pie Competition that helps introduce the topic before transitioning into a video clip that sets up the talk. The Proclaim will teach the youth that having an “I am, therefore give to me!” outlook is selfish and that God calls us instead to place our needs before Him and practice humility. Acting as though we are entitled to things is childish, and we must learn to be grateful for all we have and never expect our every wish and demand to be met. During the Break, the youth will discuss entitlement and make a chart of entitlement vs. gratitude. For the Send, the teens will pray the Litany of Humility (Attached).
There are dozens of reasons parents want to give things to their kids. For you, there is a strong desire to provide for your child(ren). Partly, it’s instinct – from the beginning of time, “giving to your child” meant providing food, shelter, and protection.
However, we know that sometimes our kids move from being sweet and innocent to being demanding. We try hard to raise kids with a grateful heart, but sometimes our culture is one of our biggest enemies. Tonight, we challenged your child to really check his/her attitude and realize that what we have is a gift from God and we should be grateful. Our hope is not that this become an opportunity for parents to scold their children, but to grow together in humility. Here are some discussion questions and links to some good articles to help you challenge a false sense of entitlement:
- Do you understand why having a sense of entitlement is wrong?
- How can our family be more grateful for what God has given us?
- Explain to your child why you give to the Sunday collection.
Make the room about “me, myself and I.” Have signs around the room with these and similar words. Have mirrors of various sizes around the room as well. Finally, have the Core Members begin the night by only using “I” statements when they are greeting the youth.
• Poster board
• Pens or markers
• Four pies
• Four bibs
• Prizes for Humble Pie Competition
• Copy of small group discussion questions and activity instructions
• Handout A: “The Litany of Humility”
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