Sunday, August 16, 2009

What do you really deserve?

I wonder if people ever notice that I literally physically cringe with discomfort and annoyance when I hear the word “deserve”. It boldly towers over every other pet peeve that I hold dear to my heart! Therefore, I have chosen this forum as an opportunity to rant, and here it goes:

The concept of deserving has added more grief and unhappiness than any other concept in the history of the spoken word. When people truly think they deserve, it divides classes, promotes laziness, invokes war, feeds both greed and inequality. The very idea of deserving is based on the assumption that life is fair, that we have an equal start. It is not true, we come from different economic and social backgrounds, even our unique and intricate DNA patterns beg to argue the theory of fairness on any level. The most common usages of “deserve” has absolutely nothing to do with the natural consequences that the world would bestow on us, and I would like to outline some of them now.

"You deserve a raise." It is my opinion that there is a decrease in the value of work ethics because of this theory. When someone snags a large contract, works extra hours, or simply does a kick ass job at work, they feel they automatically deserve to be additionally compensated beyond what their initial contract was with their employer. When a person takes a position, it should automatically be in their mind that they are going to do the best job possible at the price that they agreed on. Because we are told so repeatedly that we deserve more, it actually decreases moral if something beyond wasn’t extended as payment. But, can you even imagine the job interview that these expectations were outlined? “Okay, I am going to come to your organization, do a piss-ass job for the wage you are offering. If I do good, I deserve more.” Unless you are commission only, you would not be hired! We should already have enough personal integrity that demands that when you take a job, you will do your best, and believe that a job well done is a very high reward.

We are now taught at a very early age that benefits that are not related to the actual award are deserved. We give dollars for “A’s” on report cards to small children, rather than teach them to relish pride in that accomplishment alone. Think about this scenario, you have 2 children, one is very smart and one is kind of dumb. The smart kid easily gets great grades, and therefore gets monetary rewards when the grade cards come in. The less intelligent kid works his tail off and gets a “C”, so he is not rewarded. The smart lazy kid learns entitlement, the dumb hardworking kid gets the shaft! Shouldn’t hard work and advancement that naturally comes from doing your best be the lesson?

"You deserve better." This is a phrase that is so commonly used when girlfriends are consoling each other after a relationship goes south. In actuality, when we are saying that, we are robbing them of any control of their own situations. Wouldn’t it much more empowering to say “you want different and it is your conscious choice of what you are going to do with that”? The majority of times when this is said, it is over something so very trivial, such as he didn’t call. So when that is uttered, it is implying that he is a worse human being because he did not do something that she alone assumed would be done. In actuality, he is probably a very decent person if she chose him in the first place. Additionally, why is she different? Doesn’t everyone deserve love

"You deserve a break today." Marketers are in total ecstacy over the ease of convincing people that they deserve every little thing that is available. Once convinced, it just balloons from there. In our society, if one is fortunate enough to afford a well, they automatically come to the conclusion that they deserve water. In contrast, the penal system is overflowing with people who did not get what they deserved in childhood, and consistently deserved less as a consequence for their initial misfortune.

These are only a few examples in which this concept throws me in a tizzy. They may sound trivial, but they’re real and they compound in ways that I cannot even describe in a one-page composition. Call me a Socialist, but I believe that the word “deserve” should be deleted from our language unless it is includes the word “everybody” in front of it.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more on this! We were just talking about it not too long ago when we heard a woman say "I'm a woman so I DESERVE a good man!". We just kind of looked at each other, thinking the same exact thing. HOW does one human "deserve" another human just because they exist? So no matter how you live your life, another person should just be bestowed on you and provide money, gifts, unconditional love...all because you were simply born a woman? Arg, it just doesn't make sense to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!!