Saturday, April 29, 2017

Why Life Isn't Fair

Life isn't fair. We say it to our sweet toddlers, surly teens, frustrated 20-somethings, and anyone of any age confronted with perceived injustice. We say it with a shrug, as if that's the end of it. Move on. Suck it up. Too bad/so sad. Life ain't fair.

But why? Why isn't life fair? Why are we resigned to such a lame, depressing notion? At what point did civilization give up on the idea of fairness, of justice? I've wondered about this a lot lately. Sign of the appalling times, I reckon. So why isn't life fair? OK, I'll start:

Human beings. However adorable, noble, or holy folks may appear (and I do believe - probably naively - that people are basically good), every single human is, well, human. We lie sometimes. We cheat a little here and there. We convince ourselves that our opinions are superior to others. (No use saying you're not guilty of these things. You know you are.) And we all have a drive to get as much as we can - education, money, success, chocolate, whatever. There's nothing wrong with that until we use underhanded ways to achieve our goals or tip over to "I got mine, to hell with you," which happens more often than it should. Ego and that wild streak of personal survival is a part of our DNA. Some folks just have wider, deeper streaks than others.

Nature, also known as: shit happens. Accidents, disabilities, earthquakes, floods, famine, scarcity of chocolate. Granted, some of these things are directly caused by human actions (see above), but often it's just nature doing its thing. Fairness and justice have nothing to do with it.

There you have it. Life ain't fair because of humans or nature or a combination of both. One of those reasons needs to try harder, do a better job on the justice-equity thing. Fewer lies. Less cheating. More compassion. More attention to those who look and think differently. Work harder at living-and-letting-live. Though we may not all be equal physically, mentally, financially, we should work harder at being compassion-equal.

And stop saying "Life isn't fair" to that person who needs and deserves a better response to the situation than a sad old platitude. Practice making life more fair.