deserve is a word i used to use, but has since largely left my vocabulary. it’s not just that this word leaves a bad taste in my mouth, or makes my lips do ugly things when i say it. that stuff happens because i have come to despise it altogether.
once but a tool in an arsenal of language, it now represents a sentiment i simply cannot abide. it comes from a place in which the person saying it is, or seems, very secure in what they are saying and their reasoning behind it. it has extended to coming from a place of superiority, of some special power to reframe our thoughts to minimize the situation, the specifics, or the outcome. it is used to mask or hide justification. a word that now, to me, says more of the speaker than the subject. the same can be said for pathetic, although there are less complexities with that word in my experience. it was always a pretty condescending term to use.
this is not to say that people cannot describe things as they choose, but sometimes word choice highlights underlying sentiments or foundations that show us true colors behind statements – they are often judgments with this word. they are interpretations worded in a way to avoid rebuke, by design. people passing judgment dont want to be refuted, they look to build an impermeable argument.
using deserve is a powerful word designed to appeal to shared values – the core of our identity lies in what we believe to be important, as well what we see as right and wrong. a word like deserve judges the would-be recipient of a given result, with prejudice.
if cliches, religion, or popular culture are to be believed, we are not each other’s judges and have no place doing that to our peers. and morally, i have to agree. it is entriely preumptuous and not even possible anyway – we cannot know someone’s true motives, or the totality of their experience. as such, we cannot judge them to be worthy, which is what deserving is all about.