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  • Sarah Menzies

"It's not fair!"

Sometimes there is a desire in me to fill with self pity and decree "It's not fair." At times like this I try and remind myself that this isn't a primary school play, I don't get to sulk and pout and scream because I don't like the part I'm given. I don't get to stamp my feet and shout it's not fair until someone gives me the role of the angel that I wanted all along.


The point of life is not fairness. Life is a myriad of different experiences that are unique to everyone. The experiences will be dealt with differently, and learnt from in an individual way. Those experiences will make up our lives. We must choose how to deal with them.


What is fair or not fair has no bearing.


If I said my life wasn't fair, what could I say to the woman beaten weekly by her partner, wondering if each beating would lead to her death, or the child abused by the trusted family friend, the schoolboy bullied so relentlessly that he considers suicide, the people struggling to survive with not enough food or water, or the parents who decide that to take to the seas in a dingy is a better risk for their child than staying put.

So no, fairness isn't to be expected.


If the assumption is for life to be fair, if we then become angry when it isn't, that is when we seek out someone to blame. The very concept of what is fair and what isn't fair is driven by envy of what other people have. We desire those things and feel that it isn't fair that we don't have them. Extremist politics thrive in environments where people feel that life isn't being fair to them. That is when certain groups are singled out for the blame. Men who attack women often are driven by a belief that women have not been fair to them in some way in the past.


I don't know when fairness became a presumption of life. I doubt the cavemen thought it wasn't fair when someone caught more on the hunt or had a better cave, but maybe they did. But it serves no purpose, creates no great intent and can not lead to any better place, or superior peace.


As Bill Gates so eloquently states "Life is not fair; get used to it"






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