The Things I Don’t Deserve

by Nic Olson

Things that I do not deserve include, but are not limited to, the following: Drinking cold beer poolside in Phoenix with a lime tree providing us with pool toys and tastier beers. Ten dollar baseball games that include free fireworks. Cold water. Sleeping on the floor of an air conditioned room. Families allowing me access to their fridges. Extra spending money.

I said aloud several times this week that I did not deserve the comforts that had been bestowed upon me. That I do not deserve the comforts that are still being bestowed upon me. There is nothing I have done in my life to deserve comfort like this, and luck can only be attributed so far. Somehow, someway, I am living someone else’s life. This is the only explanation that I can come up with. But the good keeps pouring in.

Fishing for compliments is like fishing for fish. Except more desperate and uglier than a lake trout with crossed-eyes. I am not fishing for fish or compliments, nor am I hunting for pity, nor am I gathering my attributes into one place to comfort myself. When we decide that we are not worthy of the good things that happen to us, humility is born. Once we begin to believe that we deserve the good things that to happen to us, then we think too highly of ourselves. We deserve nothing. When we believe that we deserve the bad things to happen to us, then a karma-like philosophy can encourage us to be better. This is a negative man’s attempt at positivity: admitting that there are a series of positive things happening in his life, but denying them as chance, more or less unexplainable.

Using the concept of ‘blessings’ seems like these blessings were well-deserved. I was blessed because I earned these blessings through financial gifts or living a good life. Like a utopian karma that doesn’t recognize the negative. A childlike karma. To credit my own decision making ability would be to knock the decision making ability of others, and to neglect the circumstantial events that change other people’s situations. My decision making is not why good things happen to me.

Self-deprecation: An extreme form of modesty or criticism of oneself, often used in jest. The opposite of pride. Such an extreme opposite that it could be a different form of pride. Neo-arrogance, maybe. But I do it, in my mind, because it is the only way to humble myself. It keeps me honest. Realizing that you don’t deserve the good things that happen to you, maybe it is humility, or a skewed version of it, or maybe it is a lack of self-esteem, but I think it to be an important step in fully appreciating the many good things that happen, and wisely accepting the bad things that inevitably arrive, so as not to allow them to overshadow the good.

Things that I do deserve include, but are not limited to, the following: Male pattern baldness, foot odour, buses that break down, bad eyesight, electronics that do not function properly, consecutive rainy days, a second toe that is longer than the big toe, parasites, painful childbirth, warm beer, loneliness, back pain, moldy bread, lost luggage.