They Don’t Want This

They’re royalty to us. The most special, wonderful people on the planet. We love them so much we want to give them everything they want, make them the center of everything.

But we know, we know, we shouldn’t, right?

Bruce Springsteen’s childhood was a strange one. His mother worked to support their family. His father was distant and harsh. He spent a lot of time with his grandparents, who spoiled him, in part because they were grieving the loss of their own daughter years earlier.

“His Majesty, the Baby,” is how his childhood is described in the fascinating book Delivery Me From Nowhere (incredible book, by the way). Springsteen would admit that this kind of attention and celebration “seems to a kid like a great thing, but it’s exactly what a kid doesn’t want. Very problematic, it caused me a lot of trouble. To this day. It destroyed me and it made me. At the same time.”

As we said before, nobody likes a spoiled child…especially the spoiled children. It warps their sense of reality. It makes them both entitled and strips them of pleasure—because they come to take it for granted. The attention ceases to have meaning because it feels like a birthright. It suffocates and isolates. They are deprived of skills they need, confidence and character they need.

It seems like it would be great to get all your love, all your affection, all the resources you want to shower them with. But it isn’t. And you can’t. You know that right?

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