As I look up, I can’t fail but to notice my wheelchair. Tucked into a corner, still it sits predominantly in the room. This is my reality. I do not deserve more – nor do I deserve less.
Over the years, friends have told me how unfair it seems to them that I have myotonic dystrophy. These kind words reveal at least two things about them: (1) they are sorry that I have to contend with a debilitating disease, and (2) because I had already had some tough times, I should not have to experience more troubles. I am grateful for their love. Still, it made me wonder. What does anyone deserve?
It has become increasingly difficult not to consider the big picture. Our Western minds are geared to be positive and assumptive. History has been charitable to us. We have won wars, ruled over others as if we were benevolent dictators, and enjoyed a lifestyle unequaled in many parts of the world. Even our poor are not poor when compared to third-world countries. Not until 9/11 did we stop to think that maybe other countries could hate us.
Our self-assuredness and entitlement run deep in our souls. We tell ourselves that we are God’s elect. When troubles and suffering are experienced, some believe that we are being punished by God. Karma is at play. There are underlying assumptions here: good things happen to good people; bad things happen to bad people. We want justice. We want ours!
This concept of the perfect life can leave us feeling unfulfilled. We compare to our demise. Our definition of what constitutes the good life can cause us to feel cheated. Do you think that if you work hard, are kind, and follow the rules, then you are guaranteed a wonderful life?
Why should we expect a certain outcome? Do we deserve anything? There are no guarantees. Nothing is fair. Nothing is perfect. There is no perfect spouse, child, job, home, country, or life.
You don’t need a perfect life to be happy.