Do you deserve good things?

First off: Apologies that I missed last week’s newsletter. I write about questions that I am struggling with here. That requires me to reflect on a couple of questions through the week. By the time the weekend rolls around I have narrowed on one question and figured out 70% of what I am going to say.

I didn’t get the time to do this last week properly. Or even this week. I am hoping things will be back in order next week.

It’s not like I don’t have material to write about. I’ve got like more than a dozen drafts right now that I could expand into a full post. But they would require work and I don’t feel like working for this newsletter. It’s supposed to be “natural” – not forced. When I am feeling one of those drafts again, I’ll expand on it.

Actually, you know what, I’ll just share a couple of them with you here. Reply to this email or text me to tell me which one of these catches your fancy. Yeah?

Here they are –

  1. What’s the deal with saviour complex?
  2. How (anti-)fragile are you?
  3. How disposable are you?
  4. What will 32 be like?
  5. Is all work equal?

Let me know!

Now, to today’s question – if you’ve been keeping up with my life or this newsletter, you know that life has been very kind to me over the last year. And I can’t wrap my head around it.

I am assuming you too have had such an experience in your life. Didn’t you feel invincible at some point in college? Or perhaps when you first started making money? Or when you started dating? You feel like you’ve got shit locked down and that you could achieve whatever you set your sights on.

It doesn’t last though, does it? Life happens. At some point so much life happens that you forget that good things ever happened. And you start questioning whether they’ll ever happen to you.

Then, thanks to our dear friend entropy, at some point in your life something so lovely, so serendipitous happens that you can’t believe it’s real. Your anxiety is looking for red flags – something to justify that this good thing isn’t actually a good thing because good things don’t exist. Or even if they do, you don’t deserve them.

It’s bizarre. What even is ‘deserving’? Who decides who deserves what?

Such a strange social construct, isn’t it? I call it a social construct because the universe doesn’t bother with this deserving nonsense at all. It does shit at random. Atoms collide, neurons fire, cells mutate. Almost at random. That’s the beauty of it. The universe is the ultimate leveller.

But we don’t like randomness. Our monkey brain wants to make sense of the world. So we say shit like - “he didn’t deserve to get cancer” or “she deserves a well paying job”. Bizarre.

I bet this social construct was invented to maintain power structures – “You are poor, you don’t deserve rest or luxury. I am rich, I deserve all of nature’s bounties.” Some shit like that.

We condition ourselves into this “deserving” ideology in little ways. Our parents couldn’t afford to buy us fancy toys all the time so they told us we’d get one if we did well in the exams. And we started believing that good things only come after slogging.

Effort begets achievement. Achievement begets reward. That’s the crux of this ideology.

As adults we use this to set our own limits. And I get how in some instances this has a motivating effect. It acts as a safety net for when you’re flying too high. But this has major downsides for mental health, no? I can’t think of an example right now but I am sure you get it.

Should we just give up on this deserving business then?

No one deserves anything. Everyone deserves everything.

To be honest with you, when I say it like that I kind of like it. It has a nice socialist vibe to it.

What do you think? Email / text as always.

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Cheers! See you soon.

Last modified: Mar 18, 2022