Do You Deserve It?

F rom Seth Godin’s blog:

“Do you deserve the luck you’ve been handed? The place you were born, the education you were given, the job you’ve got? Do you deserve your tribe, your customer base, your brand?”

You can read Seth’s answer here.

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  • betsy davenport, phd

    Deservedness is an odd concept. Maybe – but only maybe – a person deserves a nice dessert after reading for 90 minutes to Grandma who is always burping and wiping her mouth.

    Even that is farfetched. Earned, maybe, but that’s not right, either. Unless mom said, “If you read to Grandma for 90 minutes I’ll make you an apple crisp for dessert.” But that is a job, then, with a predictable paycheck.

    Seems to me we neither deserve nor don’t-deserve the things that come our way. No more than kids abused mercilessly deserve that, does the kid who is provided with all he needs and more.

    If we believe in deservedness, we have to believe deservedness operates all the time, and on everybody. I cannot say with a calm stomach that some schlub who bought a mortgage in Spanish but signed the one written in English deserves to lose his house. Similarly, I can’t stomach the idea that the guy who didn’t, and whose job may be his job next year and as long as his mortgage lasts, “deserves” that.

    Shit happens. And some of it happens to us. Cool stuff happens. And some of it happens to us. We hope.

  • Jeff


    I think Godin agrees with you. (And I believe he happens to be A.D.D.) In his somewhat clipped style of examining various “truths” and ideas, he also finds the term “Deserve” to be loaded and fraught with presuppositions that, well, don’t make sense. But his twist on it is to look at it from a positive perspective. Now that you have “X” then what are you going to do with it? He is not making any moralistic argument, namely that someone deserves X, but simply if luck shines on you…do something good with it.

  • betsy davenport, phd

    I’m for that, whether it’s a negative or positive thing you realize you have. ADD is the scourge, and I do not like one thing about it. I don’t deserve it, and neither do the people with standard issue brains deserve theirs. It’s just how it is and the sooner we get on with things, the better off we’ll be.

    Assuming we would like to improve things a bit.

  • Jeff

    I like the term that Crimson had used in some comments (and her posting) here on this blog. She referred to “standard issue brains” as “NeuroTypical” brains (shortened to NT).

    And I’m beginning to think that Godin did not go far enough in teasing apart the word “deserve.” It carries overtones of a moralistic calculus.

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