My dad has lots of little sayings he’s borrowed from random places – something about ifs and buts and candy and nuts, something about frogs and glass bottoms, and something about a glass house and a stone. All of them are a little strange, but they all seem logically sound. One of his favorite – and in my opinion, most accurate – sayings is “life isn’t fair.”
Whenever I was little and I asked for something ridiculous, I would be denied, and I would offer an excuse such as “so and so has it!” Without even giving it a thought, my parents often countered with “Life isn’t fair.” Back in those days, I don’t think I even comprehended the saying. What a strange concept, life not being fair. Why would life not be fair?
Now it would be strange if life were fair. Who would be the poor people that society so needs? Would everyone have equal influence? Would everyone have food to eat and water to drink? Would we all share work? Either our possession of free will or our human nature would have to change to allow this.
As for me, on a large scale, my life hasn’t been fair. When people declare something unfair, it’s usually in a negative light, but my life isn’t fair in my advantage. I grew (and am growing) up in a nice house with anything I could need, and most reasonable things I could want. I never went hungry, there’s no worry that I won’t be able to go to college, and I can’t imagine ever being in any kind of major jam. On the other hand, I’ve known a few people who have wondered how they’ll get the next meal and more than a few who wonder if and how they will go to college.
On a small scale, I doubt there is anyone in the world who has everything exactly how he wants it (and even then, chances are, it wouldn’t be fair to others).
As for me, things happen every day that “just aren’t fair.” I might have to cover someone’s mistake or find myself doing something I don’t want to do. I might get cheated out of an opportunity others are offered, or I may just want to call something unfair as an excuse for my own lack of effort or ability.
When I as little, when I wanted a toy my parents knew I would lose interest in shortly or something ridiculous like a four wheeler (for some reason from the age of about 8 to 12 I really wanted a four wheeler), I liked to retort to my parents’ declaration of the unfairness of life that it should be fair. Now, I think those who think life is unfair should view it as a temporary withholding, something surmountable. Then again, I guess it’s not fair to say that since I’ve never been on that end of the stick. For all I know, the good end could be temporary too.
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