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First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

On The Word Deserve

From Webster's Dictionary I found the following on the word DESERVE:

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French deservir, from Latin deservire to devote oneself to, from de- + servire to serve.
transitive verb: to be worthy of: merit; deserves another chance
intransitive verb: to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital deserve

I don't like this word.  Or, at least, I didn't think I liked this word until I really looked at the definition.  Now, I realize I don't love the word, but more than that, I dislike the way people use it (and arguably misuse it).
So, how do people use it that I dislike?  I'm glad you asked because that's what I want to try to verbalize.  I dislike that people use it in conjunction with the idea of fairness.  For example: "She didn't deserve to be treated that way."  I dislike this way of using this word because, well, I dislike the idea of "fairness."  Quite frankly, I don't give a damn about "fair."  I think fairness is foolishness.  Honestly.  I think nothing is fair.  Not in life, not in eternity.  I believe it is Just.  And Just makes FAR more sense than "fair" as far as I'm concerned.
Additionally, I dislike the way people are constantly talking about how so-and-do deserves to be treated better.  Do I wish people in my life would be kinder and more considerate?  Certainly.  However, I do not confuse this wish (and hope) with a belief that I deserve such.  If I did I would be living in a state other than I have been told to expect in the Bible.  I mean, there are numerous references to taking up my cross to follow Christ.  My cross happens to be, in part, formed by some crummy relationships.
Do I deserve the crud of those relationships?  Well, honestly, who on earth knows!?  Maybe I do "deserve" them because I made an agreement in the pre-existence to deal with and overcome the problems in and of them.  Does focusing on how I don't "deserve" it help me deal with it?  Nope.  Not one itty-bitty little bit.  But I do it and that weakness in me is so very frustrating!
When others focus on whether they or I "deserve" something negative, I feel rather perterbed.  I mean, I definitely do not need any help considering negative aspects of things.  My challenge (perhaps most people's challenge?) is to focus on something OTHER than the negative... like acceptance, peace, tolerance, happiness, and etc.
As it happens, I think I rather like the word "deserve" if used correctly.  For instance, if someone has worked super hard and has accomplished a goal they set for themselves, well, in that case, they deserve the reward of that goal.  And on the opposite side of that coin, if someone does something utterly foolish, perhaps they actually DO "deserve" the consequences they may face.
I like the etemology information a great deal.  It's very interesting to me that this word originates from a Latin word meaning to devote oneself to and to serve.  For this is what is done when correct reference is made to someone "deserving" something or thuther.  As in the example of the goal, one really does have to devote oneself to or serve the end goal to accomplish any goal worthy of accomplishment (and some, as on the other side of the "coin," NOT worthy of accomplishment).
So, I don't mind the word nearly as much as I thought... I just mind (a lot more than I realized), the incorrect application of the word!  The things we learn about ourselves as we write....  ^_^

on July 19, 2012 I've linked this post up to a party
come join before it's too late!  ^_^

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