I don’t deserve anything. It isn’t a statement representative of low self-worth, but of sudden insight.
The idea of ‘deserving’ is the western equivalent of karma. Work hard, deserve to be paid well, work little and deserve to be paid poorly, where ‘effort’ appears consistent with deserving, as does lack of an abundance of ‘good will’.
- ‘What have I done to deserve this?’
The idea of ‘playing God’ – to decide upon who deserves to live, and who does not, who deserves punishment or reward, and what form it should take. We play god with our own lives, without realizing that there is no God.
I’d like to be financially rewarded for little effort, but there appears to be some sort of unwritten rule that states I do not deserve any such thing. It may indeed be wishful thinking, but that would be a different issue altogether I feel.
Do we just fundamentally believe in some kind of universal equilibrium?
Perhaps as a general ‘rule’, or more clearly, on average, we must work hard in order to maximize our chances of achieving our goals, but any other examples can only be seen as deviations from the norm.
Despite the evidence we still seem to hold onto the notion, and instead of updating our beliefs in light of this evidence, we re-interpret it so that it may continue to correspond to our belief. Instead of ‘karma doesn’t exist’, we get ‘I’ve done something wrong somewhere and I may not even be sure of when or what’. It might be necessary to analyse things in such a way if in fact, it consistently turned out to be the case that what you receive in reality was trailing behind your perception of what you really deserve.
The idea of deserving is a distraction from the seemingly random and unfair nature of life. It is a form of faith to believe in such a system, and this belief can lead to self-righteousness or self-pity at either end of the spectrum. What it seems to amount to is another means of explaining or justifying the many events in life that can be hard to accept. In this respect deserving appears interchangeable with ‘God’s will’. If you were successful it was because it was God’s will (you deserved it), and if not, it was because it wasn’t part of his plan, or his plan is even more abstract, and so complicated and large in scope as to be beyond human comprehension and questioning.
I think maybe our brains are just hardwired for creating/inventing detailed stories and explanations for things, especially as a coping mechanism.
Living in a world that is secretly and unknowingly faith-driven has lead me to believe that I am more deserving of something if I have desired it for a long time. Consequently, I am having to endure a significant sentence before anyone will begin to take me seriously. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be taken seriously.
On the opposite side of things I am expected to continue and even pursue a career in those things which I have had a longstanding interest in. As if we are to look out for the signs calling us to our destinies; a guiding light, a common theme. But poverty is often a common theme, as is unhappiness. I don’t want to go on producing more of the same for the sake of consistency or to live up to expectation.
Good will always triumph over evil, and you will be rewarded for your kindness. But there is no hidden war to resolve, no secret force of equilibrium or reward system by which equality is dealt out to the living. Wishful thinking is all it is. All men are created unequal. You have less control than you think, less influence than you’d like.
But you knew this already, you knew long before I did.