You Deserve Nothing

by

A man says to the universe, “I exist.” … “However” the universe replied, “This fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”

The fervor with which you believe that you deserve something you seek is inversely proportional to the amount of gratefulness you’ll feel for the things you already do have.

From Tim Sanders’ Today We Are Rich:

Erwin Mcmanus, a friend and fellow author, developed an exercise to jiggle the perspective of anyone feeling ungrateful. He poses the question: “What do you deserve?” In most cases the thoughtful answer is powerful: nothing

Because if the average person on earth is the definition of what we collectively “deserve,” then we all (me and you reading this) deserve less.

From an article on The Week:

Some miscellaneous facts about the most average person on Earth: He is right-handed, makes less than $12,000 a year ($33/day), and owns a cell phone — but does not have a bank account.

Although by the numbers, more than half the world lives on less than $3.50/day. But let’s not split hairs here between the definitions of median and mean.

We weren’t put here for a reason. If we were, that means that certain people who we’ve never met were probably gutted, quartered, raped, killed or whatever horrible happening so that there even was a pearl in the oyster that we call ours.

We can’t be THAT special.

You weren’t put on this earth to do anything. That’s the cruel fragility of life. We don’t deserve, we just are. As Derek Sivers says in this great post, “Life is life.”

It’s only the rare, rare few (us) who were born into better starting opportunities than most others. But since we few have all of the leverage in the world of information, we are able to mass produce the idea that everyone deserves to be whatever s/he wants to be just because we have the time and energy to think something up.

Seth Godin talks about how being “good at the beginning” is just being lucky. And we (you and me) have definitely been born into a situation that was “good at the beginning.” But as Seth says:

Sometimes, getting lucky at the start means that you fail to learn resilience and tenacity, and you lack the tools to get better.

Dreaming the day is not the same thing as seizing it.

Be bold and take advantage of the opportunities you have, but be nice. Most people don’t have an oyster to call their own like we do.