"If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me," said WH Auden.
A friend of mine reflected on the following and it gave me pause for thought, too:
""Someone said to me...
..."you think you're so special - don't you"
I asked them...
..."what would you say to a child who asks you if they're special?""
If I grow up in a loving family, giving and receiving love, surrounded by love, then everything is unified and nothing is "special" or "less than". Love, only love.
My foster dad reminded me frequently that I was the "smartest idiot" he ever knew. I evicted the shame from my head, but the words remain just the same. It's not what happens to us that matters so much as what we do with it.
The comparative mind is difficult to dig up from the root, but really, even that's not necessary. No two roots are equal in the Sequoia Forrest. The way individual trees survive is through the root structure. The roots of surrounding trees intermingle with one another, which in the big picture 'holds up' the entire forest. We are in this together.
Einstein said either everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle. Similarly, either no one is special or everyone is special. I am unique, just like everyone else.
A sense of entitlement might arise when we feed the ego, but we're all human and have an ego, so no use making a big deal about the defects it feeds. As my foster mom was fond of saying, 'don't throw the baby out with the bathwater'.
Feed everything with love; forgive everything. When I feed all of the parts of myself with LOVE, the defects I sometimes abhor actually get healthier (weaker defects). Many people believe loving the darker parts of ourselves is to give it approval and the weakness will grow, but, it grows peaceful and might even RIP some day. LOL! Love one another.
Simple, but not always easy, but always worth it.