There are times I sit and I wonder about life and circumstance. I think about the different realities, different experiences, hopes and expectations… and I think about that magic word “deserve”.
It is said “We get what we deserve” or “We want what we deserve”. We deserve that promotion. We deserve to be happy. Heck, we even deserve to be successful and loved.
But, looking back on 2018, I realise that I was not entitled to any of my success or my failures. In most cases, I got the result of the work I put in or from assistance given by others that I capitalised on. Wanting something – that promotion, opportunities, or a certain quality of interaction – is not a matter of having a right to it; instead it is about the foundations we lay and work we put in that makes the difference.
How do we know if we deserve to be sick; deserve to be well; deserve to be in pain; deserve to be happy; or deserve any experience we have at all? We really don’t deserve anything, especially not the best the world has to offer. We simply exist and it is in existing that we have hope.
In existing we try to be the best version of ourselves and trust that, no matter what life throws our way, we have laid the foundation to deal with the challenges; that we have saved enough to treat ourselves to our dream trip, to treat ourselves to that item in that store, to afford that lifesaving healthcare. Trust that we have worked hard enough to be excellent at what we do; that we have been authentic to gain the love of others; that we have set the stage so that what we want… desire… crave is just within our grasp.
We deserve nothing. We all have hopes and expectations but it is up to us to write our story and play the hand that we are dealt. We have opportunities to make life meaningful and to lay the foundation to help others, to discover what gives us a sense of purpose.
We deserve nothing. Once we shed that sense of entitlement, only then will we truly be able to work to create the meaning and experiences that we so desperately crave.