Life is not fair, so we keep trying

sad couple

 Love is about being open and sincere with each other on all matters. It is therefore difficult to understand why your wife would not want to listen to you.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl.

When my children were younger, I did my best to be a fair parent. To ensure they had the same amount of toys, time or affection. Back then, my children were concerned about who I loved more. Or who was my favourite. They watched keenly, looking for situations where I was being unfair. Aware of this, in part, because I had worried about it with my own siblings, I did my best to ensure I would not be accused of playing favourites.

However, if you asked them today, they would tell you that I had a favourite child, and it was their brother or sister. Never them. After how hard I tried! Yet with all that trying, it was never going to be possible to give each child the same experience. Some children required more attention because they were insecure or sickly. It was what it was.

Life is not fair. It wasn’t meant to be. Truth be told, life can be downright cruel at times. What do you say to abused or abandoned children? Victims of war or famine? Life isn’t fair when the best man for the job – or the girl – still loses. Life is not fair because those who work the hardest are usually paid the least.

Say goodbye

Each of us can think of a time we have encountered the unfairness of life. Perhaps it was a tragedy that seemed to single handedly choose us. Or a loss of a promotion, investment or health. Everyone else around us seems to be having it ‘better’ at that point. And perhaps they are. Yet life has a way of dishing certain similar cards to all of us. Just at different times. Consider this. In life, we will all suffer loss. Each of us will say goodbye to a loved one. It’s a given. No one gets out of here alive. That fact alone should raise us out of our self pity to compassion and doing something.

The unfairness of life is due largely to a flawed humanity. However, what we are not meant to do is shrug our shoulders and say, “That’s just the way life is. Unfair.” We were not put on the planet to be sitting ducks but active participants for the greater good. Perhaps the unfairness of life is our challenge to try to make it better for ourselves and others. Perhaps our work is in building better families, safer neighbourhoods and more prosperous communities to reduce the glaring inequalities. Even though life may be unfair and sometimes hard, we can choose to act with justice, fairness and kindness towards others.

Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations, “Concentrate every minute like a Roman — like a man — on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice … If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.”

Today my children acknowledge that we tried our best to love and provide for them despite the occasional ‘unfairness’. They give us an ‘A’ for effort. In my books, that is a pass. Because what we should never do, is not try. Life is not fair. However, if we try to play our part, it can still be good.


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