“I deserve a chance.”

“I deserve a chance.”

There seems to be this odd trend where people write to me and try to connect with me, and when I turn them down (for whatever reason), they say that I’m not a good person because I’m not giving them a chance.

I may or may not be a good person. I don’t think that actually can be determined by an interaction with a stranger online (especially when I’m being polite).

Thing is, I already gave them a chance. And to be clear: no, “a chance” does not equal “the answer I want.”

I read their message, and at the very least, I considered it. I even responded.

I guess they think they deserve ANOTHER chance.

But they don’t.

They don’t even DESERVE a first chance. Let’s look at a definition of deserve, to make sure we are on the same linguistic page:

de·serve
to merit, be qualified for, or have a claim to (reward, assistance, punishment, etc.) because of actions, qualities, or situation

Does an unsolicited message merit a chance? Usually, no. Is it qualified for a chance? I mean, since there are no real standards, I suppose I could say that maybe…but have a claim to? Absolutely not.

And that’s usually how they’re using the word when they’re behaving the way they do.

Reading their message at all is giving them a chance. If it doesn’t intrigue me enough to want more, or doesn’t land at the right time in my life, or I’m just too overwhelmed to fuck with it?

Well, that chance didn’t amount to what they may want.

The fact that I take the time to write back and act compassionately for someone who wrote me (without my desire or solicitation) is more than they deserve. It is also exactly what I am willing to give, when I can.

Some will even go so far as to suggest that they gave me a chance, so I should do the same in return.

Ummm. No.

They picked my profile to write to out of however many for their own reasons. Not to “give me a chance.” And in any case, you can take your chance and your Hare Krishna flower and shove them both up your bum, for all that I wanted them or care.

But beyond the random online message…

I don’t owe you a chance. No one owes you a chance.

At least not on a personal level (a chance at a job, just like other applicants is a different beast entirely, for example).

No one owes you a moment more of their time than they want to give you.

Here’s a thought: When you are given a chance, when someone does actually give you their time and attention, no matter how briefly, consider yourself blessed for the chance you were given.

And be gracious.

Yes, even if you didn’t get the result you wanted.

Then, move the fuck on.

What are your thoughts?

Have you ever said that you deserved a chance? And I’m not just talking about with a stranger, but in any situation. (I know I have.)

Looking back, did you, really? Maybe you did. I can’t think of a single time that I can honestly say I DESERVED someone’s time and energy to give me a chance if they did not want to.

Perhaps I’m thinking about this wrong. Let me know.

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