Friday, 1 June 2007

Deserving literal

A little earlier on today I walked past an obviously drunk young man, who was carrying a glass of dark liquid (bitter? Coke?), swaying along with his mother. I know it was his mother because a girl, pushing a pram alongside him, said “Tell your son he isn’t young anymore!” He muttered something about still only being twenty-five, because ‘they had taken 2 years’ of his life.

What could he mean by this? Experiments along the lines of the Philadelphia time-travel ones aside, perhaps he had just finished serving two years in prison. His tone had the whine that I’ve heard before a thousand times – normally from sports men – the ‘I don’t deserve this’ whine. Very similar in tone and resonance to the ‘I deserve better than this’.

‘Deserve’ has become probably the most misused word in the sporting language – knocking ‘literally’ off its post. I’ve often heard sporting people talk about how they deserved to win something, even though they haven’t, and I think it’s a trend common in life today, not just with sporting types. People often feel like they deserve something for nothing – for simply being in existence, they deserve something.

The most frightening manifestation of this that I have seen is in the minds of racist or bigoted nationals who feel that the ethnics of the world are getting a better deal than themselves, and that they ‘deserve’ something back because they were born here. I heard a man utter something as he walked past a Nigerian protest for better working conditions in Africa, which made me shudder; ‘They’re not doing too badly over here, are they?’ What does that even mean? That black people shouldn’t complain about anything because conditions are alright somewhere? That foreign people shouldn’t have opinions? It’s hard some days not to just be overwhelmed with my over-riding sense of disappointment with humanity. Millions of years, exponential intelligent growth, advancements in everything from medicine to spirituality, and still some people are that small.

I think we all deserve something better, don’t you?

No comments: