I’ve written before about some people’s exaggerated sense of entitlement, thusly:
I don’t automatically assume that I have X coming to me by dint of Y; it has always seemed to me that my only legitimate and unassailable birthright is death. And this, I suspect, is not a commonly-held belief; on the contrary, the world seems to be largely filled with people who think that on the basis of some Y or other, they deserve all the X they can get.
When I was laid off for a long time in 2002, I felt as betrayed by the universe as if the law of gravity had suddenly ceased to operate. I had worked hard, gone to an excellent business school, and I was supposed to have a job, just as an apple thrown into the air falls back to earth. I was angry, but also deeply shaken, by the notion that I could work hard, do everything right, and still end up unemployed.
We’re watching the entire investment banking industry go through what I endured seven years ago. They aren’t going to be paid so well in the future, even though they made the colossal mistake of giving up the best years of their lives to the finance industry. It feels and it is massively, nearly unfathomably unfair. On the other hand, that’s a pretty good description of the universe: massive. nearly unfathomable. unfair. Just ask any manager at Chrysler with two swell kids and a nice house in a Detroit suburb.
The last word on the subject, though, goes to Babylon 5’s Marcus Cole:
You know, I used to think that it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
Which, the regulars will note, I’d already quoted here.