But It’s Not Fair!

“I know, babycakes.  Nothing about life is fair.”

This news makes children very unhappy.  It also makes many adults equally unhappy.

Sing it for us, sister!

The concept of fairness is man-made and reflects well on our moral progress.  However, it isn’t a quality that we should expect to find occurring naturally.  Such an expectation will lead to disappointment which is a fast-track to unhappiness.  This is not to say that we should be resigned and defeatist.  Quite the contrary.

The fact that life is unfair is good news.

What?  Maybe in your life but let me tell you….

I know, X and Y and Z all landed with a thud on your head and life sucks.  Yes, it’s true that X and Y and Z are not fair.

All that pain has blinded you to A and B and C which all make your life wonderful.  Guess what?  That’s right:  A and B and C are also not fair.

Then there’s D through W — all the variations in between that add to the rich tapestry of your life.  They’re also not fair.

Play to the unfairness

When we shift our focus to the more complete picture of unfairness in our lives, we open our doors to beauty.

We can think of the best experiences of our lives, our greatest triumphs, our biggest advantages, our best qualities, our most treasured gifts.

But that’s not fair!

And we can smile at our beautiful lives.




28 thoughts on “But It’s Not Fair!

  1. Life is unfair. We must all do our best to make it fairer and accept the proposition that life will remain unfair.

    We must also know when we are the beneficiaries of the other side of life’s lack of consideration for the teeny-tiny morality gland that we’ve evolved on our brains; we must know when we are the beneficiaries of gifts.

    One last distinction: in the natural world life is profoundly unfair, but human societies are not natural.

    Our morality gland may still be too small for us to fully comprehend the fact that unjust economic systems and laws are entirely under our control as a species.

    …But there it is.

    I also agree with the person who said that you are one talented soul..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob, thank you for these excellent points. It’s a vast and complex topic, isn’t it? In some ways it’s also very simple.
      Your comments called to mind Temple Grandin’s observation that “nature is cruel but we don’t have to be”. We have our teeny-tiny morality gland (if I may also quote you). We’ve also created our societies, systems and structures; they remain in our control.
      Your insightful and thought-provoking comments are much appreciated.
      Thank you also for your kind words; they’re also much appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment called to mind the last time I saw someone step over a homeless person…the man was laying on the curb and rolled out into a lane of traffic…two men had parked their car and one stepped over the man laying in the street and went on his way. The other one stopped to help the man in the street. His friend looked back and shrugged and continued into the restaurant.
      I hadn’t seen anything quite like that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is unfortunate that in our first world society, some look at homeless people as lazy pests that brought this on themselves. Some have no problem giving money to faceless people in other lands, but ignore the needy right in front of them.

        In this case life really is not fair.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s an intellectually interesting bias. It’s a similar mindset to pioneers, pilgrims, Puritans and a Protestant work ethic: They just have to work (harder).
          Alternatively, it’s a view that people are created unequal, as in a caste system. If someone is homeless it’s because they have bad karma or did something to deserve this suffering.

          Brian, I agree with you that in this case life really is not fair.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I watched an interview of a homeless person in Vancouver BC. He was a former executive of a high powered firm making hundreds of thousands of dollars. He got addicted to heroin and ended up on the streets. I truly believe with a few bad breaks, we all could be in his shoes, so I don’t look down on anyone. He at one time was more educated and powerful than me and now he begs for change.
            I give food and water to anyone I see in need now. I also have literally given clothing off my back to help out someone out in the cold.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Yes, drug abuse usually leads people down a bad path in one way or another. I also believe that drug abuse can start after homelessness, as a way of coping.

              Homeless people come from all walks of life and I believe that you’re right, that with a few bad breaks it could be any of us. Just look at the cardboard-box shantytowns and slums created during the Great Depression.

              You’re a good man, Brian. If everyone helped the way you do, the world would be a more beautiful place.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the addition of new directions (and other letters) since I don’t like “pouting” among my own family members, Danica. I always say, “We are blessed” and “There are much worse situations out there.”
    It is like when I didn’t like something to eat for dinner, my parents would say this “cliché,” “There are starving children in Africa. . .” Great post and I like your perspective, Danica. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Robin, So many kids must hear similar things! You reminded me of a scene from a book where kids are told over dinner, “You don’t know how lucky you are to have rice every day.” It was more wistful and thoughtful than an admonishment. The name of the book escapes me and I’m thinking the author is Amy Tan.

      Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Robin!

      Liked by 1 person

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