What Happens When We Start Receiving Handouts

What Happens When We Start Receiving Handouts

For different reasons, some people (but definitely not all) feel entitled to receiving handouts and, if you ask me, society has only encouraged this behavior. I felt somebody should touch on this subject a little bit…so, I volunteered myself.

NOTE: Before I continue, please know I am strictly referring to a person receiving handouts, NOT help or support they genuinely need.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure the best way to approach this topic at first (I’m sure I’ll step on someone’s toes either way). That is…until a few days ago when I randomly began thinking about my “unaccomplished” patch.

Stay with me.

In high school, a patch fell off my letterman jacket…and when I say it “fell” off, I actually mean I ripped it off. But, in my defense, it had come unraveled and was only halfway attached. Eventually, I got tired of it. Instead of sewing it back on, I yanked it off. Problem solved.

I didn’t care about having patches on it anyway. It was comfortable and kept me warm. In fact, I found it SO COMFORTABLE, I’ve actually thought about turning it into a Texas A&M letterman jacket (our colors were maroon and white, too). Judge me.

I was constantly being asked about my missing patch. Because I’ve been known to give a sarcastic reply a time or two, I decided to start telling people it was my “unaccomplished” patch.

Person: “Kristin, what happened to your patch?”

Me: “Nothing??? This is my Unaccomplished Patch.”

Person: “No really…what patch was there?” 


Person: “Well why do you call it your Unaccomplished Patch?”

Me: “Because I didn’t do anything to deserve it.”

This, of course, became an inside joke between my friends and I. See the screenshot from my friend’s Facebook below:


And no, surprisingly, I did not get voted “Best Hair” in my graduating class. I know, believe me. I was just as shocked as you. The results were clearly rigged.

What Happens When We Start Receiving Handouts

Anyway, never in a million years did I think my Unaccomplished Patch would help me write a blog post…yet here I am! The Lord works in mysterious ways.

The Unaccomplished Patch on my letterman jacket is a metaphor. It represents the sense of entitlement some people have and the expectation they’ve developed…as if the world owes us something. It doesn’t.

Despite this fact, we are CONSTANTLY being rewarded for tasks we did not accomplish. This is also known as the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. Instead of working hard to achieve something on our own, we ask for handouts and freebies…and we get them without ever having to lift a finger. And that’s just not right. NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY. There, I said it.

As I mentioned in Consistency is Key, “Nothing worth having will ever be spoon-fed to us or handed to us on a silver platter. WE HAVE TO GO GET IT!” 

When a person is repeatedly rewarded for something they did not do, they develop a lazy, self-centered mentality. In NO WAY does asking to be spoon-fed help us. IT CRIPPLES US. Temporarily protecting a person from failure, heartbreak, and disappointment permanently harms them in the long run.

SAY THAT WITH ME: Temporarily protecting a person from failure, heartbreak, and disappointment permanently harms them in the long run. It’s NOT a favor. It’s a disservice.

There is a fine line between asking for support and asking to be spoon-fed.

According to the dictionary, to support someone is to “give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.” On the other hand, when a person is spoon-fed, they are given “so much help or information that they do not need to think for themselves” or give any effort whatsoever on their part.

Being spoon-fed and receiving handouts is like sporting an Unaccomplished Patch on the letterman jacket of life. 

It’s unearned success. There was no blood, sweat, or tears involved. Trial and error wasn’t a requirement. Experiencing heartbreak was never an option.

I mean…why build something with our own two hands when we can just ask somebody else to build it for us, right?


We should not feel entitled to receive the benefits of a job well done without actually having done the job well.

It is OUR responsibility (and our responsibility ONLY) to go out into the world and make something of ourselves. There’s a big difference between receiving a helping hand and receiving handouts. 

True, honorable success comes from doing the hard work. It’s okay to ask for help, but it’s not okay to expect handouts. We’re not entitled to ANYTHING. The world owes us absolutely nothing. 

Mark Twain once stated, “It’s better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.” Somehow we’ve developed a mindset that concludes the opposite.

Stop receiving handouts.

Quit asking to be spoon-fed.

Just do the work.

It’s supposed to be hard.

Sporting an “Unaccomplished Patch” on the letterman jacket of life is nothing to brag about.

Make sure you’re earning your patches.

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  1. Tammy Whitehurst

    BAM!!!!! You nailed it on this one. Bullseye. That was a good read and an “open your eyes” kind of article. Thank you. (((BigHug)))

  2. Cheryl Hawthorne

    Kristin, you did nail this on the head! It makes me happy to see someone your age “get” this idea. Love to you!!

  3. amy weir

    Spot on! I intend to share this with my 21 y/o son who through his grandmother’s spoon feeding him , has started to develop this very attitude you so eloquently defined. Bravo for such a mindset at your age. Good parents helped develop this I’m sure. I have fought my mother for years about this subject. My son not completely lost . I’m just trying to make him more resilient when times get hard. You can’t always run to Mimi’s ATM next door. 🙂

    1. Kristin Koonce Post author

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read it! Yes ma’am, I was very blessed to have parents, teachers, and mentors who taught me the significance of a job well done (and who continue to encourage me in my efforts today). There is much satisfaction that comes with knowing we accomplished something on our own, even if we had to learn a few things the hard way!

    1. Kristin Koonce Post author

      Hahahahaha, I just died laughing! I was wondering who the other vote was from! 😉 Thank you for reading (as you always so kindly do). I’m so glad you liked it!


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