I'm no sociologist, but the idea of something being "deserved" is closely tied to ego and pride, which are some of the human emotions LEAST susceptible to reason and rational thought. (No one likes to think that they're wrong, especially on a BIG scale.) As over-stressed as we are today, as rare as are the rewards and so common the defeats and setbacks, the LAST thing most of us want to consider is that maybe we're doing this to ourselves - That we "DESERVE" the mess we've gotten ourselves into.
The word also conjures up concepts of an orderly, divinely-guided or purpose-driven universe, where rewards and punishments are dealt out on an individual basis by invisible-but-irresistible characters or beings, imaginary constructs whose alleged strength and wisdom reinforce our morals and beliefs by supposedly sharing them and practicing them.
THIS FROM PHIL COLLIGNON in a personal communication because he couldn't post it here for some tech reason:
The reason I posted this is that I am just sick of hearing it used every time I turn a corner. Heck, the only things we "deserve" is what we earn and many times we don't get that! "Virtue is not its own reward" as the old saying goes so even when we earn something there is no guarantee that it will go down recognized. However now you have all these promos etc saying you deserve XYZ etc. My putting this up was kind of an exercise in frustration and I wondered if anybody else sensed the same:) I am a bit surprised at the lack of response; I guess most do not feel as I do.
Most of the people on this site are not here to "debate" - they are here to exchange niceties. I have no problem with that other than I might be barking in the wrong site.
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I think the American Dream is real but the dream I know about requires hard (and I mean a struggle) work and perseverance. Today many of us do not have the attention span to listen to the slightest message or cry from others yet we still believer we "deserve" something. I am really sick of the sense of entitlement as BAF so aptly speaks of. Remember how we Baby Boomers (the me generation) felt as teenagers and young adults. It is not much of a leap to see the addled sense of entitlement. I think that those of us who grew up poor are much more prepared to deal with the ideas of EARNING what we get and achieve. Thank you for jumping in here!
I suppose if you achieve it you deserve it in some capacity or another. I posted this because I continually hear advertisers and marketers say get the _________ you deserve when life generally demands that we earn something first, or that deserving something requires more than just qualifying with a pulse. Merit is often the yardstick of "the deserving". That idea seems quaint anymore!
Yes, and I wonder if it will ever come back to what we knew. Of course it might not come back exactly as we knew but I think history sometimes has a way of making such mores cyclical. To me, the Depression was a real pivotal event in establishing the value of both a dollar and hard work in achieving a goal, perhaps the idea of the "self made man" is a case in point. I also wonder if the economy makes the real difference. During the time of Depression we went from easy upbeat times to bust. My parents never forgot it's impact and never believed in extensive use of credit cards and paid their balance off every month. The way the economy is now, you have children living with their parents and not going to college because of its cost. Medical bills kill off other opportunities as one ages. Yet still was there ever a time when it was easy? when it was more than just an inconvenience? Also, today you a different retirement system and job market. We don't have the number of jobs because many of them are contracted out to cheaper goods and services in other countries.
So anyway, I think the times dictate the values. I wonder if another economic slump will change things back. I am a Baby Boomer and paid for my own college education; I never had a car until I could make enough money to buy one. Today those two things tend to be parental responsibilities. In sum, I don't have any real answers!
I guess Eisenhower said it best.
You must study history:) Perhaps a degree?
Taught Humanities for a number of years. Gives rise to a lot of perspective from many different points of view.