You Don't Deserve Anything - The Reykjavik Grapevine

You Don’t Deserve Anything

You Don’t Deserve Anything

Published March 24, 2017

Life’s hard. Really hard. And here’s a fact. In nature there’s no such thing as deserving or not deserving something. There’s no fairness. The human myth of fairness is a beautiful one, though—probably one of our best. It was a step out of nature of sorts, a rejection of its chaos. We strive to make our world fair and to do this we constantly have to battle our own internal contradictions. We are both the goal and the enemy.

But when fairness is our goal it’s easy to start thinking that fairness is actually the world’s fundamental principle in every aspect rather than a distant, shining star we try to follow as best as we can. We’re all familiar with this. I believe I deserve to be with the love of my life. I’ve fought so fucking hard for it. Don’t you too? Don’t we all deserve love? Don’t we all deserve happiness? Why did she say no? Why did I fail? Why, Lord?

If you could read the Icelandic media during your stay here, you’d find that Iceland believes it deserves a much better life than it has right now. Iceland is one of the richest and safest countries in the world, but Icelanders spend their time on this island mostly talking about all kinds of additional shit and blessings they believe they deserve… because, well, that’s how life’s supposed to be, right? Just better and better. It’s supposed to go our way, right? Your vacation here is supposed to be a home run, isn’t it? You’ll witness something spectacular and different, and locate something lost inside you.

Just read a report from Libya. Yes, Reader, here comes the contrast. There’s no security there. No safe spaces, no real government. Just flip-flops and Kalashnikovs. They’re queuing for bread there every night. Power cuts last fourteen hours a day. It’s a failed state and we played our part in this. What did the Libyans deserve? What didn’t they deserve? What did we do? Are the people in Misrata finding love in the dark streets? Am I maybe there as well, feeling sorry for myself, chewing on old bread and hearing gunshots down the street, thinking about love and the problem of manspreading and whether or not I deserve my fate. The ceaseless rumble. Never-ending waves of sound. Sixteen different thoughts harassing the mind at once, both here and there.

When things go our way, if and when we get our day in the sun, it is a true blessing. Peace, joy and love is something we give our life fighting for, but we don’t actually deserve those things. Existentially we don’t deserve anything. Life is a struggle, it’s a mess, and accepting that you don’t really deserve anything will help you appreciate and be grateful for all the gifts you have been given and that actually, since you’re here, life’s probably too good.

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