You deserve nothing

Earlier today, I heard the most annoying phrase in the world — “I deserve this.” It wasn’t said about love. It wasn’t said about family. It wasn’t even said about an award. What’s worse…it wasn’t even said by a child.

Who gets to decide what “deserve” means? I deserve a hot wife, who is a chef, who only walks around in lingerie. Is that fair? I deserve to win the lottery. Can I say that? Is there no one else out there that DESERVES to win but me?

There are people in the world who expect to be given things. They expect to be awarded whenever they do well. Maybe it’s the fault of parents in the 80s. I don’t yet have children so I can’t really remark about participation awards. But, isn’t losing just as valuable of a lesson as winning? Is winning a lesson at all?

Each day, I get out of bed…and it’s so difficult. My sheets are warm; my body is old; the floor is cold; horizontal is so much better than vertical. But, somehow, my body does it. However, it’s not enough to keep me fit. So, I head to the gym, where I attempt to lift weights, or run, or swim. I do it because I know that in the end, hard work will pay off. Obviously — based on my lack of modelling gigs — I screw up. I’m human. So, do I deserve a modelling gig? Do I deserve an award for attempting to hit the gym? I personally don’t think so.

I’m not a religious man, but I do know that all religions originated with good intent. Something I learned during my catholic youth was that, in life, you get back whatever you put into it — and you get it back 3x’s. Of course, I don’t really believe that if I give someone a dollar, it’ll come back to me as $3. And, just to be clear, I don’t give $1 in order to get more back. But, I do believe that if you’re a good person, if you’re not a dick, if you’re not an asshole, if you think about others before yourself, if you avoid using people to your advantage — good things will come your way. But, you’ll never hear me say — I deserve an award for trying. If anything, you’ll hear me complain loudly, dramatically, incoherently about how hard life is, but then you’ll see me get back up and try again — mostly because I try to surround myself with good friends who make me a better person and they kick me until I get back on my feet. I think it’s part of learning. (Note: Except for white water kayaking and snowboarding. I’m going to accept failure here.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my moments…on my knees, screaming at the universe…”Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” In truth, I didn’t deserve it. Bad things happen. But so do good things.

If things aren’t going your way, just give it a second. Or, maybe you should try a different approach. Maybe you’re not trying hard enough, or even worse, maybe you’re expecting too much in return. You don’t deserve anything…not good things nor bad things…but in the end, I trust you’ll get back from life what you put into it.