Really, we just want things to be fair.
But where do we get the idea that things SHOULD be fair?
As we think back to our childhood I’m sure we all remember a parent saying something like this: “It’s your sister’s turn to play with the Barbie now, you have to be fair.” “Wait in line for your turn.” “She gave you too much change, it’s only fair to give it back…..”
These comments sound quite reasonable and moral; we were taught well, and we live out these courtesies within our families and at our workplaces. It’s only natural that we would expect fairness in return.
But then there are these foggier examples: “When my brother was my age he was allowed to date, why can’t I?” “Why does she get to go to bed later than I did when I was her age?!” “Why do you pay more attention to him than to me?”
Sometimes “fair” is not clear cut. Sometimes, especially as a child, it’s hard to understand the reasoning behind the “fairest choice.” There can be a legitimate subjectivity that can lead to the fairest choice.
Similar thoughts about fairness crawl into our adult being….. “Why do I always choose the slow line!?” “I’ve worked here longer than he has!” “No wonder she’s successful, she’s related to the producer.”
It seems that although we need to demonstrate fairness we need to remember that life may not be fair, and there has never been any warranty saying this would be so.
Doesn’t sound fair, does it!
I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. But I do think we have to alter our thinking. I, personally, would really like get rid of those highly elevated feelings I get when I feel I’ve been treated unjustly (think combustion)! I think it’s totally normal to feel jealousy, hurt, or anxiousness….all because we feel we are not getting what we deserve. We are justified in feeling these things, but we need to do something constructive with them, not let them overtake us.
So I think the first thing we need to do is ask ourselves if we actually are getting what we deserve! An objective look is always a good idea. I know that my own view gets skewed because I see only through my own eyes. Obviously, the choices we make open the door for the consequences that walk in. Have we done absolutely everything we can to bring fairness our way? (Maybe I’m in the slow line because I don’t plan well and shop at the busiest time? Maybe my boss awarded my co-worker because he looks more professional? Have I taken every opportunity I could to work hard and put myself where I can be noticed?) There are variables here, too. You might make the very best decisions, yet life still may seem to treat you unjustly. You might make the worst decisions yet get to live high on love and wealth.
Certainly we do not deserve all the unfair things that befall us. I call this the Shit Happens theory. In these cases it’s totally understandable to feel angry, hurt, or vengeful.
So what do we do with these feelings we get? I think it depends on the nature of the unjust event. Does it require a call to action? I don’t think there’s much we can do when we’ve waited in the left merged lane like good, little, proper drivers and the rude speed demon passes on the right and squeezes his way into the lane 50 cars in front of us.
I suppose breathing techniques or refocusing thoughts might help. Or if we have not had the life opportunities that another person has we can’t turn back time and put ourselves in their place. Maybe the answer is in being curious about why we feel the way we do so that we can come to a better understanding…..or maybe we should just stop comparing ourselves to others?
My best suggestion for the “small stuff” is just to accept what happens and learn what you can from it. It doesn’t make sense to get all fired up and sweaty. I once heard the phrase “bless and release.” I say this to my daughters all the time. It’s a handy little thought that helps me to acknowledge something negative that happens but then to let it go. (I know too well, however, that some things are harder to release than others!)
As for the “big stuff,” some of it you can change, and some of it you can’t. When that team member gets recognized for his hard work and no one notices your efforts perhaps it’s time to reevaluate that job and what you want in life….? That situation may be changeable and may bring you to a much better place (scary and unknown, but better). Here’s my unchangeable situation, though….I don’t think it’s fair that Andrew died, whatever the reason, and I can’t bring him back. All I can do it move forward without him, and try to think like he would, hopefully taking his advice on decisions even though he’s not here to physically give it.
You will make your own decisions on this. You will make your own life decisions which may or may not lead you to unfair situations. Perhaps the best we can do is to be fair to others, keep calm when life does not seem fair, and try to focus on the things in life that are most important.
5 thoughts on “Fair”
I was just thinking how unfair life is and today we lost Paula .. That’s not fair ! Andrew should have bent allowed to enjoy retirement in your beautiful new home . Peachy just went through brain surgery to rehearse fluid that kept him off balance and confused .. It’s been a week and so far hasn’t worked … I’m having a down day and I’ve been arguing with God! Saying what are you thinking God?’ There’s all those horrible bad people out there you can take ! I know that’s not the way it works but it’s just not fair! I think of you and the girls so much .. Everytime I pass by your old house . Maybe next month or next year , things will be fair again and I won’t be arguing with God.
Love you Darcy
Oh Mary Ann. This is so difficult. I think I have it so bad and then I read someone else’s story. It’s so hard to be thankful for the good things when you have to go through such horrible things. Please try to stay strong. I don’t have the answers, just some thoughts. I know you are a strong, sensitive person and you will go through this honorably. I don’t think there is anything wrong with arguing with God. I hope we understand someday. I will be thinking of you and I hope you find some comfort. Much love, Darcy
Darcy, you are an amazing woman. I admire you so much. Please know that Jon and I are here for you. I am thinking about what you said and am going to try to apply it to my life. Life is not fair, and nothing stings like an injustice, but we just have to move forward. I do appreciate the small things in life, and really, that is all we have. Love to you, Marilyn
Thanks, Marilyn. I know you two are here, and I am grateful for you. : )
I think the way you live is a great example of life Well-lived.
Hi Darcy, I have thought about the “fair” subject for many years since both my parents have passed. I was 20 when my Dad passed and 26 when my Mom passed on, I am now 50. Truth is, no matter how many or few years we have our loved ones, we are never ready to part with them on this side of heaven. Losing them young has really made me rely on God, my Father, and grow in my faith. I miss them terribly everyday and think of them every single day and thank God that I have good memories. I have accepted that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. I have also have pondered how I would feel if either my husband of 30 years were to pass suddenly or if I would be called home today. I keep going back to the fact that I have been truly blessed with the love of my family and that God answered the prayers of a little girl some 40 years ago when I asked Him to give me a good husband and beautiful children, which He did and I keep saying to myself….”how could I ask for anything more?” God bless you Darcy and your children, you have all been in my prayers, these are early days, take one day at a time and hold fast to your wonderful memories. Thanks for letting me share a little of my heart and my loss experience and hopefully it might even help you a little as you are missing the love of your life…..love and God bless!