“Mummy can I please have some ice cream?”, I asked. I had braved my mum’s sour mood to let the words slide out of my mouth.
“What exactly have you done to deserve ice cream?” I froze but couldn’t deny the fact that I had kind of been expecting the response.
My report card hadn’t been impressive. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. And it certainly wasn’t ice-cream worthy…whatever that meant.
From her statement it wasn’t exactly about the report card, it was the fact that I had done absolutely nothing worthy of ice cream. I wracked my little brain thinking of any single good thing I’d done recently that made me worthy. I couldn’t think of anything.
Needless to say. There was no ice cream for me.
Not to say there’s any connection; there were times when I felt and was made to feel like the most special person in the world, but as an adult I managed to convince myself that I didn’t deserve a lot of things. I wish this ended with me telling you that me thinking I didn’t/don’t deserve things makes me work even harder to deserve but no it doesn’t, it didn’t. It’s quite the opposite actually.
When we say a person deserves things these days, we generally think of a person who has worked their butts off in a particular field or endeavour. We may say a person who studies a lot and/or is smart deserves good grades, or maybe the guy who’s the first to come in and the last to leave and has grown at least 15 grey hairs since his employment deserves a raise, and so on.
I guess this type of thinking stems from the fact that we as humans always need something to aspire to but from my own personal experience and no one else’s, this kind of thinking can only breed resentment for other people and eventually, or sooner, breed contempt and resentment for yourself.
You may end up as some kind of “deserving police” constantly trying to figure out why you or anyone else deserves things…and end up resentful if you feel you deserve something more than someone else.
Take the lottery for instance…do lottery winners deserve a million dollars? Maybe by the general definition they don’t but by my definition they do. They believed in luck enough to buy tickets and by virtue of that and the fact that they’re human beings (just being alive) they deserve all the good in the world.
You didn’t buy lottery tickets because you thought it was a silly thing to do…well, it’s your loss (and mine since I haven’t ever bought a lottery ticket either.
Because they “deserved” a million dollars, they took the steps, however silly it may be to you, to get a million dollars.
I think just knowing that you deserve all the good in this world by the mere miracle of the fact that you exist, helps you take steps towards achieving your dreams and getting the stuff you want.
You can’t do anything to deserve good things…you can only take steps to acquire/get the good you already deserve. Knowing this helps in heaps and bounds. In the grand scheme of your life, you’d be surprised how many doors you can open when you know what you deserve. This leaves room for your body and mind to work with you…not against you.
It also works on the flip side too. Prisoners on death row deserve to live just by virtue of being human and the inherent right to life but then some people did things that led to them being where they are now.
As with almost everything in this life, this line of thinking is debatable, but for me, this helps better than stabbing yourself in the eye trying to “deserve” things.
If you have a different opinion, do let me know in the comments ;).