What Goes Around Comes Around – Do We Deserve It?


You may think of the successful lyrics of Justin Timberlake when you hear the term, “What Goes around comes around”. Popular songs have a way of taking an old saying, and giving new expression to it. But this term means different things to different people.

To some “what goes around comes around” means that you will get what you deserve, or, that the chickens will come home to roost.

To others it seems to imply that you will get what’s coming to you, or that you will get what you deserve. John Lennon, who had a neat way with words, once wrote,

“Instant Karmas gonna get you

Gonna knock you right on the head

You better get yourself together

Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead

What in the world you thinking of

Laughing in the face of love”

So, does it all balance out in the end? All this does not bode well for your average recovering drug addict. The last thing he wants, is to get what he deserves, and, that instant karma doesn’t sound too good.

So why frame this maxim and put it up on the wall in your Therapeutic Community’s dining room? What does this expression mean in the life of those in recovery from drug addiction?

“What goes around comes around” is about the skill of learning patience. The bigger picture, however, is to provide a coping mechanism to handle the circumstances that life throws at us. Most of the consequences now coming back to us, are now outside of our control. Life is not fair. We have been dealt a bad hand.

Injustices and set backs are part of life, of relationships, of trying our best and not being recognised, of not being affirmed for what we have accomplished, or in relationships yet to be reconciled.

This is all part of the daily grind but it can serve to discourage those in recovery. Getting a grasp of the meaning of “what goes around comes around” helps the person to accept the circumstances and deal with the consequences.

This maxim may have two important messages:

First, patience is required to accept unfairness and injustice in our daily lives because these factors are part of life.

Second, although we may feel that the circumstances are not ours to control, this doesn’t mean that we should just be resigned to our fate.

We should go forward confidently because we have a hope that things will get sorted out in the future. We are not alone in experiencing these things, and we will not be tested beyond our endurance.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *