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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

Nobody deserves anything

This is a revised excerpt from my book.

I don't believe that anybody deserves anything. Given how life is, the concept of "deserve" doesn't makes sense to me. More importantly, believing it only makes life worse, which obviously makes it very unappealing to me.

Here is why it doesn't make sense. There is no denying that life isn’t fair; people get what they get. “It really do be like that.” A lot of times, things just happen. Luck is also a factor that exist to some degree. There is no reason to think that you deserve something just because you work hard or you're good at something. Sometimes, other people work hard as well. Do they deserve it too? Do they deserve it more? What if someone works less but is more talented? Do they deserve it? Where do you draw the line? What do you value? What if there is nepotism or other biases? Is that a way of changing the requirements or the criteria? Or is it just unfair? Either way, what makes anyone deserving of something? Now, if we talk about punishments, how much does intention matter? Who's to say what punishment a person deserves? What is it based on? Finally, looking at who dies, how they die, and when they die, what does it mean when a person says that they deserve or didn't deserve to die, to die that young/old, to die in that manner? Why is that the comment? Why can't people just accept that things simply happen in life. The concept of "deserve" is subject, widely varied, and quite frankly, incompatible with the unfairness and randomness of life. It doesn't make sense.

Even though it doesn't make sense, that isn't the main reason I don't believe in it is because a lot of people's beliefs don't make sense when it is scrutinized or viewed from other perspectives. People are not rational, generally speaking. The more important reason is that buying into the concept of "deserve" doesn't make life better. There are no positives. If we feel like we deserve a reward and we don’t get it, then the situation would become worse simply because we buy into this concept of “deserve”. If we feel like we do not deserve a reward but we end up getting it anyway, then we wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much, or perhaps we wouldn't enjoy it at all. Similarly, if we think we deserve a punishment and we don’t get it, we might feel much greater guilt than we might otherwise feel about our actions. If we think we don’t deserve to be punished but we get punished anyway, we would probably feel resentment and bitterness. Overall, there is no situation where buying into the concept of “deserve” makes our life better, it only prevents us from accepting reality, moving forward, and feeling fulfilled in life.

Note: Putting in the work and going about the process a certain way could make the experience more rewarding, more worthwhile, and more fulfilling. It is only when we think that certain qualities or methods equate to “deserving” that we could experience the negative consequences mentioned. Similarly, if our conscience and feeling of guilt made us feel like we deserve or don’t deserve to be punished, we could only suffer more. To clarify, working work, getting better, and being good could matter to you but there are no logical reasons nor benefits to think you deserve something because of it. Feeling guilty and having a conscience about your own actions and decisions is normal but, once again, there are no logical reasons nor benefits to think that you deserve or don't deserve to be punished because of it.

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