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Musings: What It Means to DESERVE

Sarianae

Infinite Dreamer
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Location
Storybrooke, Maine
I realize this is might be a peculiar topic...bear with me here.
This is going to be rather long, I apologize if it requires a lot of patience to read through.

To start this discussion, I would like to present the following statement:


“I don’t deserve this.”


^ The above statement, many people have thought at least once in their lives.

What is it, then, that a person deserves?

In order to answer this question, we must begin by examining a few very basic points.

First: let us define the word. What exactly does it mean to ‘deserve’ something in the first place?
I, personally, will be defining the word as follows: to ‘deserve’ is to be worthy of something in particular that you may or may not gain (you, of course, may have a different definition). And of course, everyone has their own notion of what they do or don’t deserve.

Now then, I have yet another question for you: What infallible source is there to tell you with exact accuracy what it is you deserve?
My answer to this is that there is none. I believe this is due to its status as a matter of opinion—an opinion that can differ indefinitely from person to person. There is no single opinion in particular that can necessarily be referred to as the "right" one—none including your own. When most people deliberate over what it is they deserve, they don’t question the reliability of their own opinion. What if a subconscious bias towards ourselves influences our opinion of what we deserve? What if other outside factors figure in to our own perception (such as our emotions at the time of our judgment, brought on by unrelated outside events) affecting our conclusions on the subject, and making them less than accurate? How do we even know if they are accurate?

Here is what I would say: there is no “accurate” or “inaccurate” since there is no one perfect answer—only opinions, none of which have superiority in terms of merit. You might have your own ideas; your worst enemy might have others, and still your best friend might have others. There will be ‘what you deserve’ version one, version two, version three, version four, and so on as interpreted by different people. None of these ‘versions’ are of greater merit than each other; however version one, the version referring to your own opinion of yourself, will always take precedent with anyone since a given individual puts forth his/her own opinion before others. Thus when a person concludes what it is (s)he ‘deserves’, (s)he is referring to his/her own opinion for him/herself; this does not take into account any other being’s opinion, be it a human being or one of a higher power. Simply put, no other being outside of yourself may have the same exact opinion as you on what it is exactly you deserve. This is important because if you are expecting someone else to grant you ‘what you deserve’, that person’s definition of it may be different than yours. If someone else did try to grant you ‘what you deserved,’ it would probably be by that person's perceptions, and on that person's terms. So, while according to him/her you might have been granted ‘what you deserved’, if this version does not see eye to eye with your version, you will still interpret that you in fact did not get ‘what you deserved’.

This is the problem posed with expecting someone else to grant you your wishes. By relying on someone else, you are greatly decreasing the probability that you will get it as defined by your standards. Following this idea, you may arrive, as I have, at the following conclusion: If you wish to get ‘what you deserve’ (as per defined by you) only you can carry out what you need and want with no discrepancies of interpretation, and gain for yourself what it is you think you deserve.

Now that I have established this, allow me to ask this principle question: Do you get what you deserve? Bearing in mind what I have just established, the answer to this question would simply be contingent to your own actions. Did you work for and try to attain what you deserve with your own hands? If you do not even try, then the chances of getting what you want are near zero; nothing is handed to you on a platter. On the other hand, going after what you deserve does not guarantee your chances at success; nevertheless your chance is still there if you will only grasp at it. In the end, if you do succeed, then the answer to the original question would be that yes, you get what you deserve. However if you try yet simply cannot attain what you reached for—or if you don’t try at all—then the answer would be no, you do not get what you ‘deserve’ (as per your definition). What I mean to illustrate here is that simply, I believe it is you who decides.

Naturally though, there are many counterpoints that can be made to this.

Counterpoint #1

Someone may make claims concerning the abilities of a ‘higher power’ (such as God) in seeing eye-to-eye with people. Perhaps because they are higher powers, they are all-knowing and can perfectly understand the individual; of course such a possibility cannot be denied. However at the same time, this guarantees nothing. For one thing, God or the higher being may not think (him?)self responsible for providing the person with ‘what they deserve’. Secondly, the higher being may be able to perfectly read a person’s definition for what they deserve, yet I present that the God could perhaps choose to disagree with it; If a man who murders his rich parents believes he deserves their inheritance, would the higher being take heed while not concurring? I find this doubtful. Thirdly, human beings are whimsical and overtime may think things that contradict each other. They may easily have multiple ideas of ‘what they deserve’ that contradict one another. If this is the case, then which of these contradicting ideas (which cannot be granted without conflicting with one another) should the higher being grant? In the end it may be too troublesome for the higher power to even bother with.

Counterpoint #2

Someone else may disagree about the amount of power an individual has over gaining what he or she seeks. A person may say that an individual is powerless over the sway of his/her life; that trying to win what he/she thinks worthy of would be a useless feat because such power over the course of things is something out of our jurisdiction, thereby declaring that our only option is to rely on a higher power to provide us our wants or earnings. Although this view has some merit, I find it slightly flawed. Naturally there is certainly an aspect of life that you have no control over; you cannot control the weather or an earthquake that may strike. You cannot control who you’re parents are, nor can you stop them from dying. Yet, if the things you decide you deserve are of such an uncontrollable nature, you are making a mistake from the start; while you cannot control certain things, there are other things that you certainly do have control over, and it is the latter on which you should focus. You must place yourself in territory that you have power over and work there, not in a place you have no control over. In addition you must not neglect putting forth the effort to try to gain what you seek. You cannot expect to win the lottery without even buying a ticket; if you do not work, you have no hope of getting paid. I believe this does prove my point further.

Counterpoint #3

I have stated thus far that there is a discrepancy between beings over an understanding of what a certain individual may ‘deserve,’ and that this discrepancy is a great deal part of the reason why reliability is better placed on oneself for carrying out ones own wishes. This reasoning however would not apply to a differing idea: that that which grants a person what they deserve is not a being but a ‘force’ of nature. According to this thought, there would be no misunderstanding between beings or discrepancy of thought because no thoughts would be exchanged: it would simply be the force of nature, the force of the way things are that eventually spirals the work you do in your life around back to you, bringing you what you’ve been working for similar to...well, a boomerang. :boomerang: Someone might then suggest that this ‘force’ is thus responsible for bringing you what you deserve—and perhaps this is true. Still, you could argue just as easily that it was you who ‘threw the boomerang’ in the first place, who did the work that shall be dictating what you will be getting back for it, thus making you the one actually responsible. Truthfully, it would not matter which between the two you would consider as the primary force anyway since you could easily say that both work rather in unison: you by aid of the ‘natural force’ bring about the outcome that shall gain you what you deserve. Since I can view it this way, I feel this idea does not conflict with my belief that we are in charge of getting what we deserve, and can exist in parallel with it.

------

While I will be closing my thoughts very soon, I concede that naturally other points still may be brought up in opposition to what I believe. In fact, I will briefly mention one here: if I may return to the idea that misunderstandings or discrepancies of thought might ensue between the being wanting what is deserved and the being granting what is deserved, the rug does get pulled from under this idea if someone were to consider that the latter were instead a non-living force (similar to what I mentioned in my 3rd counterpoint), yet this time considering that non-living force to be fate. Using determinism as a basis, an opponent could claim that acquiring what you deserve is not something that falls into your own hands, since what you get for your work is pre-written by this higher force. Simply: you will get what you deserve as it is determined by fate (and this “what you deserve” is likely to be a different version of “what you deserve” than your own). To be honest, my personal issue with this claim lies in the idea of determinism itself, and pre-determinism, which, were I to explain my views on here would lead into a completely separate discussion of its own, a topic that I don’t want to digress into for another eight billion paragraphs (there's probably already a separate topic on that anyway) and so since this post is already getting too long anyway, forgive me for refraining from further elaboration. On the other hand, if someone else does have specific views on the subject that they wish to address, I would invite said person to go right ahead.

To basically tie the knot on what I've been saying though, I believe it is not fate that throws for us the 'boomerang' that you should expect will be bringing back what you deserve, neither is it fate that you can blame for choosing not to throw the boomerang in the first place. It is also not fate that is puppeteering us to throw boomerangs. In fact, you could consider a person lazy for saying that “fate will give me what I deserve” without ever stretching a finger to bring about that end themselves. I would say most simply as I've been saying, (s)he who is most prominently in charge of that, is you. If you think you deserve something, the only way you are really going to get that exact thing in your mind is through pursuing it yourself. Depending on other beings—whether human or nonhuman or beings of a higher power—is unreliable because of discrepancies in perception.

Closing statement: If you truly wish to gain what you think you deserve, then it is really up to you in the end to ensure that it happens.

-------

Well...that was longer than I'd been intending. This was a subject that came up before in my philosophy class, and I'd had a lot to say about it, so I thought I'd bring some of my thoughts on it here...I apologize for the lengthy result.

Now then, to those of you who didn't feel like reading the entire thing or didn't have time, here are some TL-DR questions for you that I feel do a fairly good job of summing up what I've addressed above:

[To Summarize the Above]

1) What exactly does it mean to ‘deserve’ something in the first place? Define it by your own terms if you wish.

2) What infallible source is there to tell you with exact accuracy what it is you deserve?

3) Do you get what you deserve?

4) Do you believe a 'higher power' such as a god is to be relied upon for providing what you deserve?

5) Do you believe a "force of nature" naturally spirals back at you what you deserve?

6) Do you think fate plays a role in what you deserve? Determinism? Pre-determinism?

7) What role do you believe you have in achieving what you deserve? Do you believe you are powerless in any way?



For those who actually had patience enough to bear with me, have you any opinions of your own to share on the subject?
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
I didn't read all that cause I.got bored but if someone thinks they deserve something then they probably do. There should never be a person tellin another person what they do and don't deserve cause deserving something can be an opinion. So if you think you deserve somethin then be happy don't ask questions
 

425

Hero of…. #s, I guess
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Location
Skyloft
1) If you brought a situation, good or bad, upon yourself, out of your own actions, you deserve it. Say, I invest in a startup company, which grows quickly, and I make $10,000. I deserve that money. Or, say, I investing a startup company that immediately fails, and I lose $5,000. I deserved to lose that. In interpersonal situations, say I made fun of someone so they trashed my reputation. I deserved to have my rep trashed because I caused it out of my own actions. But if I was the person made fun of with no provocation, I wouldn't deserve that since I didn't cause it in any way.

2)"Infallible source"? The thing that tells you if you deserve something is, did you cause it to yourself?

3) Do I get what I deserve? I suppose I do, most of the time.

4) Nope, my explanation of deserving requires no mysticism

5) See #4

6) Only if you mean random chance, otherwise, no.

7) I am in no way powerless.
 

Ariel

Think for yourself.
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Location
Sydney, Australia
I appreciate your effort and this has really opened my eyes as to what I think about the state of my life. The only troubling thing is that now there's no real definition or defining qualities for what progress is. Am I moving forward, or just moving in any arbitrary direction? This may make you feel like you're floating aimlessly through your existence and wherever your going is purely contingent. Whatever happens to you is neither good, bad, expected or deserved. But alas, I feel I have a solution!

You must anchor yourself down with a goal. You must do some thinking and some soul searching and realise what your end goal is. And everything that happens from then until you reach your goal can be measured. Thus, depending on what action you take, you can assess what you get in return as a positive or a negative depending on that goal. It can also be neutral. Whether you "deserve" this goal I think is up to you. If you try, and you want it, I believe you deserve it. So the stability of your worth (what you deserve) lies in your will.

Even if this is not what you meant, this is what I got out of it. I view this text as pluralistic and it has fulfilled that goal according to my intention (kind of like what I described above). So I thank you for your musings as it's given me something constructive to think about.
 

Sarianae

Infinite Dreamer
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
Location
Storybrooke, Maine
It's ok Link1017, I know I...wrote a lot.

425 I actually didn't quite understand your answer to #2. If you don't mind, could elaborate a bit?

Ariel, I think the point of these musings was more to give people something to think about anyway, as their thoughts may not necessarily coincide with mine in the first place. If you did get something out of it, then it has more than served it's purpose. What you speak of is indeed a little bit different than what I was focusing on, but I agree on the direction that your thoughts have taken you. Also, I really appreciate that you took the time to read what I wrote.
 

425

Hero of…. #s, I guess
Joined
Mar 22, 2011
Location
Skyloft
Well, was #2 worded to mean me, personally, or people in general?

My answer was presuming the former, and I was saying that I can see myself as the root cause of a large amount of things in my life, but some have been affected by random chance.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2010
Good topic.
1) What exactly does it mean to ‘deserve’ something in the first place? Define it by your own terms if you wish.
Humans have a concept of justice inbuilt into our psyche. Interestingly many apes have a similar thing, demonstrated by their ability to feel "cheated" (wish I could link you to the experiments, but don't have them to hand). We feel that humans who demonstrate a certain worthiness and have bestowed upon them an appropriate rewards deserved what they got. For example when two people truly love each other we feel they deserve each other, and conversely when two self-destructive people end up destroying one another we also say they deserve each other. It is based upon personality and past deeds what you are deserving of.
2) What infallible source is there to tell you with exact accuracy what it is you deserve?
None, but some would say God or a holy text. And I suppose if that is the true reality of life that would be fair.
3) Do you get what you deserve?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Of course "deserve" may be an entirely subjective human concept, in which case the question is largely meaningless.
4) Do you believe a 'higher power' such as a god is to be relied upon for providing what you deserve?
Not really, but I suppose it is possible.
5) Do you believe a "force of nature" naturally spirals back at you what you deserve?
I'm assuming you are talking about Karma here, which is pretty similar to God. In terms of an ultimate force my answer would be no, but I do generally find that when I am a decent human being I am paid back in turn, and the opposite is true as well.
6) Do you think fate plays a role in what you deserve? Determinism? Pre-determinism?
Depends if you believe in free will or not. To my mind whatever you did leading up to this point was always going to happen, because your decisions in life are based on past experience and genetic disposition, which ultimately you have no control over. So I do believe in fate, in the sense that life could only have panned out this way.
7) What role do you believe you have in achieving what you deserve? Do you believe you are powerless in any way?
See previous answer really. I suppose you could say I believe we are powerless and that is a bit depressing, but I don't think it is that important. Life will happen either way.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Location
California
Nobody deserves anything.

(Yes, I did read your entire post.)

I realize this is might be a peculiar topic...bear with me here.
This is going to be rather long, I apologize if it requires a lot of patience to read through.
I have all the time in the world.

What is it, then, that a person deserves?
Nothing.

First: let us define the word. What exactly does it mean to ‘deserve’ something in the first place?
I, personally, will be defining the word as follows: to ‘deserve’ is to be worthy of something in particular that you may or may not gain (you, of course, may have a different definition). And of course, everyone has their own notion of what they do or don’t deserve.
This is a very good definition.

Now then, I have yet another question for you: What infallible source is there to tell you with exact accuracy what it is you deserve?
My answer to this is that there is none. I believe this is due to its status as a matter of opinion—an opinion that can differ indefinitely from person to person. There is no single opinion in particular that can necessarily be referred to as the "right" one—none including your own.
The infallible source of determination is objective reasoning. Subjective bias is easily restrained, especially when thinking objectively.

Here is what I would say: there is no “accurate” or “inaccurate” since there is no one perfect answer—only opinions, none of which have superiority in terms of merit.
If we think objectively, we find that opinion is irrelevant.

This is the problem posed with expecting someone else to grant you your wishes. By relying on someone else, you are greatly decreasing the probability that you will get it as defined by your standards. Following this idea, you may arrive, as I have, at the following conclusion: If you wish to get ‘what you deserve’ (as per defined by you) only you can carry out what you need and want with no discrepancies of interpretation, and gain for yourself what it is you think you deserve.
The solution, then, is to understand that no one deserves anything.

Now that I have established this, allow me to ask this principle question: Do you get what you deserve?
I live sufficiently and with surplus. That far exceeds 'nothing', and therefore what I deserve would be fulfilled. However, if I had lived in any condition less than the one I live in, then I would not want to live in any higher or more comfortable living conditions.

Counterpoint #1
There is no higher power than the unbiased mechanisms of the natural universe. Nature will only grant what is in accordance to its mechanisms.

Counterpoint #2\
The Buddha once said that what someone else does is his or her Karma, and what you do is yours. You can control yourself in anyway you want, but to try and make viscus the fluid forces of nature is simply futile and delusional.

Counterpoint #3\
The only problem I see with this is that you seem to associate a good and bad with these gifts of nature. There is only what is, what has been, and what eventually will be. To say that being charitable will make nature give you great gifts in return is wrong.

However, I do concede that your effort in doing good things will put you in a better position. It is only in that way that your work is 'rewarded' by the natural mechanisms of nature; not by gift and giver, but through personal discovery and disillusionment.

While I will be closing my thoughts very soon, I concede that naturally other points still may be brought up in opposition to what I believe. In fact, I will briefly mention one here: if I may return to the idea that misunderstandings or discrepancies of thought might ensue between the being wanting what is deserved and the being granting what is deserved, the rug does get pulled from under this idea if someone were to consider that the latter were instead a non-living force (similar to what I mentioned in my 3rd counterpoint), yet this time considering that non-living force to be fate. Using determinism as a basis, an opponent could claim that acquiring what you deserve is not something that falls into your own hands, since what you get for your work is pre-written by this higher force. Simply: you will get what you deserve as it is determined by fate (and this “what you deserve” is likely to be a different version of “what you deserve” than your own). To be honest, my personal issue with this claim lies in the idea of determinism itself, and pre-determinism, which, were I to explain my views on here would lead into a completely separate discussion of its own, a topic that I don’t want to digress into for another eight billion paragraphs (there's probably already a separate topic on that anyway) and so since this post is already getting too long anyway, forgive me for refraining from further elaboration. On the other hand, if someone else does have specific views on the subject that they wish to address, I would invite said person to go right ahead.
I do believe in cause-and-effect. That is about as far into determinism I'm willing to concede to.

To basically tie the knot on what I've been saying though, I believe it is not fate that throws for us the 'boomerang' that you should expect will be bringing back what you deserve, neither is it fate that you can blame for choosing not to throw the boomerang in the first place. It is also not fate that is puppeteering us to throw boomerangs. In fact, you could consider a person lazy for saying that “fate will give me what I deserve” without ever stretching a finger to bring about that end themselves. I would say most simply as I've been saying, (s)he who is most prominently in charge of that, is you. If you think you deserve something, the only way you are really going to get that exact thing in your mind is through pursuing it yourself. Depending on other beings—whether human or nonhuman or beings of a higher power—is unreliable because of discrepancies in perception.

Closing statement: If you truly wish to gain what you think you deserve, then it is really up to you in the end to ensure that it happens.
I can only say to this that I agree.
 
Last edited:

ケンジ

僕は準備完了しています!
Joined
May 23, 2009
Location
Paranaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines
1) What exactly does it mean to ‘deserve’ something in the first place? Define it by your own terms if you wish.

2) What infallible source is there to tell you with exact accuracy what it is you deserve?

3) Do you get what you deserve?

4) Do you believe a 'higher power' such as a god is to be relied upon for providing what you deserve?

5) Do you believe a "force of nature" naturally spirals back at you what you deserve?

6) Do you think fate plays a role in what you deserve? Determinism? Pre-determinism?

7) What role do you believe you have in achieving what you deserve? Do you believe you are powerless in any way?

The meaning deserve is ambiguous to each person, so it's meaning depends on the person themselves. A person may define the term deserve as a reward, or as a gift from the fruits of their actions. To me, The terms deserve is what I truly have earned. Material wealth, items etc., those I never consider as what I deserve, but as gifts to myself from the monetary rewards that I reaped from work. What I deserve is something of a state of being, meaning what I deserve are the impressions of others on me. What their point of view is, to be blunt.

There is no source that tells me what I deserve, because what I have said above, it's ambiguous to each person. A person may use a term found in a book, another may use the term from a counselor, and others may just assume what the meaning of what they deserve. It's our own minds and sub-conscious that tells us things that powers our actions.

I get what I deserve, everyone does. In every kind of nature, be it Ironic or true rewards. There are situations we don't like what we deserve, yet it is truly what we deserve, so we tend to say we don't deserve this. One sometimes fail to look carefully at it, and forget or ignore what actions they have caused to lead to it.

I believe in a force, not a being of higher power, nor a being who simply grants things to what they want. The force I'm saying is literally the flow of our actions. It will somehow give me what I need in a later time. Say I did an action that benefited another person, then sometime in the future, i get an unexpected help from someone. In short, I believe in Karma.

What I do basically will come back to me, therefore, I do things that would benefit others and I would soon be benefited, in an unusual way, but a beneficial way nevertheless.
 

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