Don’t Mistake Entitlement for Unfairness

“Life is unfair.”  No it’s not: life is life, it follows its course.  The world on its own has no concept of fairness or unfairness.  Often times people feel the world is unfair to them because it doesn’t give them what they think is due to them. What they fail to understand is: the world doesn’t owe them anything.  The world is not a conscious entity you interact with.  Once you realize this, you can escape the “me against the world” fallacy and realize that the unfairness you might feel stems from the entitlement which makes you expect the world to give you things.  Therefore the real problem is entitlement.

Concepts like “Deserve” and “Entitlement” and “Fairness” are human inventions, they are not a property of reality. Once you realize this, you can understand why the world doesn’t operate the way you think it should. Nature does not believe you deserve anything, nor does it believe you are entitled to anything.  It doesn’t even acknowledge you exist.  Expecting Nature to abide by your expectations is unrealistic, and calling that unfairness is an incorrect categorization.  It is just Nature’s nature.

Not only is entitlement a wrong mentality to have for the world, but it is wrong to think that your view of entitlement is the right one.  Because entitlement is a human construct it is subjective on all levels.  What you deserve, when you deserve it, and why you deserve it changes based on who you ask.  Some people believe you deserve respect, other people believe you earn it.  Some people believe you deserve respect when you’re born, others believe it’s when you’ve reached a certain age, or proven yourself somehow, perhaps by surviving in [the wild/civilization] on your own.  The ‘entitlement’ you have to things is therefore very contextual, varying from person to person, culture to culture.  

Some people may argue that in a civilization there are objective laws which govern the land and when those laws aren’t upheld it’s unfairness.  This too is wrong because laws and civilization are run by people, and the interpretation of the laws of the land is decided by the enforcing person’s world view, not yours.  Therefore, you should not be surprised if the enforcing person’s view on fairness does not align with your view and if they act in a way that you disagree with.  This is why there is no fairness on your terms in the world. This is why it is wrong to assume that because laws were written to be objective, the interpretation of said laws will be in line with your subjective interpretation of what an objective interpretation is.

You can overcome entitlement by changing your expectations.  You should expect nothing from the world.  The world works the way it does independently of you. If you stop expecting things in return, you can stop feeling the bitterness and resentment that stems from entitlement, and you can stop focusing on the unfairness and wasting your time and energy on a negative emotion that does you no good.  Instead, you can invest that energy and time in activities that increase the likelihood of you achieving your dreams. Not expecting anything from the world is not the same as giving up on trying to get anything from the world: If you want something go and get it.  All I wish to point out is that if you don’t get it, after you’ve put in a lot of work to get it, it’s not because life is unfair: life is life. Let go of entitlement, and replace it with appreciation for what you are given and do have.  You will be happier this way.  

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