No, You Don’t “Deserve” Happiness Or Love Or…

Friend of The Champ, said with the type of lip-quivering pseudo-melodramatic affect usually reserved for Deltas too late for drink specials and Olivia Pope: “So, you don’t want me to be…happy?”

The Champ: “I didn’t say that.”

“You just said I don’t deserve happiness.”

“I know.”

“Ok…don’t try that Jedi Mind Trick shit with me. I’m smarter than you. My credit score proves it.”

“What are you not understanding?”

“I said I deserve to be happy. You said that I don’t deserve happiness. Now, you’re denying that you don’t want me to be happy. You’re not making any sense. Neither you nor your stupid car.”

“Me saying that you don’t deserve happiness has nothing to do with whether I want you to be happy. As your friend, I want you to be happy as shit. All I’m saying is that you don’t deserve it.”

“Why not? Why don’t I deserve to be f*cking happy? I go to church. I read. I recycle. Why not me?”

“That’s the thing. It’s not personal. No one deserves happiness. Not me. Not you. Not anyone.”

“What?”

“If happiness happens, fine! Great! Throw a party, and eat a f*cking happiness cookie. But, no one actually deserves it.”

“You’re sounding real Catholic right now.”

“And you’re sounding real…American.”

“Huh?”

“Forget that I just said that. Anyway, happiness isn’t something that we’re entitled to. The only thing we deserve is the opportunity to pursue happiness. But, happiness itself isn’t something that we’re supposed to get.”

“Here we go…”

“I know you think I’m playing another semantics game, but more than just the word “deserve” is the mindset behind it. Lemme put it this way. There are things that we definitely “deserve.” If you do a job for a set rate of pay, you deserve to get paid that amount. If you order food at a restaurant, you deserve to have that food delivered to you, and you also deserve for that food to be edible. But, you don’t deserve to like your job, and you don’t deserve to enjoy your food. Happiness, love, sex…all of those are extras. Since you’re American, you deserve liberty and freedom and french fries and shit. You are entitled to these things because they’re part of your American rights. But, there’s a reason the Bill of Rights or whatever the f*ck promises the pursuit of happiness instead of just plain ole happiness. Nothing you or anyone has ever done entitles them to be happy. Or in love. Or in a relationship. We think we deserve the extras—we think these things are supposed to happen to us—but while we can expect them or strive for them or even work for them, we don’t deserve them. ”

“I think you deserve to get shanked right now.”

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)