I come from a world of theatre and pageants. One phrase that is constantly heard is “Oh [insert name here] deserved it” or “she didn’t deserve that”.
This one word. Deserve. It irks me beyond recognition. And I am sure many of you are wondering: “Well, why does it bother you? People get things that they deserve all of the time.” And to that I say you are completely and utterly wrong. The term deserve has many different definitions and meanings, and that fact alone is one reason why it is not the appropriate word to be used. However, its most commonly used definition is: to be entitled to.
Let me start this off by saying NO ONE is entitled to anything in this world with the exception of their basic human rights. We “deserve” what is described in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. We also all “deserve” the basic human rights of food, shelter, water and basic clothing. Sadly, there are many people in the world who are denied this basic rights, but that’s for another blog post.
You work for and earn the things that you receive in life, or at least you should. Yes, there are many cases in which someone gets something handed to them or is able to get something easily. This is where the term entitlement comes back into play and it is unfortunate and unfair but a part of life.
What bothers me about people saying that someone deserves something is that it makes it sound like the individual has this exclusive right to achieve something. It emphasizes the fact that no matter how much effort they do or do not put in, this right is already there. It also, to me, makes it seem as though no one else has that same right, even if they put in the same or more effort.
Also, people also don’t “deserve” negative things or punishment. Once again, these individuals earn or receive these negative outcomes directly because of actions they perform (although sometimes I do believe that negative things happen for a positive reason but, as I said earlier, that is a whole different blog post).
No one is due anything; they work for it.
No one deserves anything; they earn it.
No one, no matter how talented, wealthy, intelligent or ‘privileged’ they are, is entitled to anything; they use those assets to achieve the great things that they desire.
So there. My distaste for this term expressed into words on my small little blog. I hope you enjoy and if you agree or disagree, feel free to share in the comments.