Even after having thought about this particular subject for some many years, I’m still not sure how to articulate it adequately. I’m sure you’ve said, or heard someone else say “I deserve…” or, “I really don’t deserve…”. These pleadings are usually offered within the context of something the person really wants, like a vacation, or amidst a personal tragedy such as the death of a loved one, a sudden illness, or string of bad happenings. But I’ve always wondered what kind of mindset would cause in someone to think they deserve anything more or less than what they have.
How does someone make the leap form “I really want that day at the spa” to “I deserve a day at the spa”? How do you get from “I wish this bad thing didn’t happen to me” to “I don’t deserve this bad thing”?
When we speak in terms of deserving or not deserving, we are making a rather bold statement, I think. We’re essentially saying we are owed the thing we deserve, or that we are being actually wronged by having the bad thing happen. But who owes it? Who owes it to be otherwise? How have you earned what you think you deserve, and what have you don’t to think you should be protected?
Personally speaking, I’ve never felt like I was ever owed anything. Whether it’s an inheritance, a new car, a nice house, or anything. There’s a long list of tools and books on my Amazon wish list. I’ve never felt like I deserve any of them. I’ve never had a massage, ever. I could really use one. But I’ve never felt I deserve it. When both my grandfathers died within six months of one another, I was devastated. But I never did it occur to me that I didn’t deserve to lose them both so close together.
Perhaps I’m making larger something that’s really trivial. But it’s always something I think about whenever I hear someone say they deserve or don’t deserve something. I know I’m definitely thinking more deeply about this than the person who uttered the plea. However, people don’t think deeply enough about what they think and believe about themselves anyway.
So, how do you determine what someone does and doesn’t deserve as it pertains to life’s amenities and trials and tribulations? Is it something we should think about, or is it just a trivial figure of speech?