It’s Not Fair

Yesterday my daughter sent me a picture of an answer she wrote on one of her school assignments. The assignment posed the question, “Is it fair?”

My daughter wrote in her answer to that question based on something she has heard me say dozens, if not hundreds, of times: “Fair has nothing to do with it.”

Truthfully, I use variations of this term. “What does fair have to do with it?”

“What’s fair about life?”

“Fair is for levels of Kool Aid you pour for your friends, nothing else.”

And so on.

When I posted a picture of her answer, I had friends and family chime in on their own favorite versions of this idea. My cousin noted a line from Dirty Harry, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

A friend who is a coach noted he often says something like, “The fair is in July with fattening food, scary rides, and lots of games….that’s the fair. This is life.”

We all seem to have our own version of how we explain that life isn’t fair, and we all seem to get it. Fair has nothing to do with life. At some point, instead of seeking fairness, most of us who get along pretty well evolve past fair to reasonable, sensible, just, correct, and other more applicable terms for life.

At the heart of the matter, most of us probably want some version of fairness, but our own version should really be titled My Way. Sometimes, like when pouring Kool Aid, when our level reaches our friends’ levels, we are cool with stopping. Other times, we believe we deserve more, or we simply want more. We see ourselves as deserving; therefore, we believe it would be reasonable, sensible, just, correct….fair…..for us to have what we want.

Unfortunately, reasonable, just, deserved, and correct often don’t have anything to do with life either. Perhaps the best we can realize is that life is perfectly aligned for the results it gets.

If you want change, you will have to change. Change yourself. Get better. Get more active. Get out of your own way. Show more love to others. Show more kindness. Give more. Help more. Seek reasonable, sensible, just, deserved, and correct for others. If you do, you are changing the system that is currently aligned against what you want.

I have to remind myself of this every day. Sometimes, changing the system means I need to get better. Other times, my actions are certainly good enough, and change simply means I need to get different. At all times, fair, reasonable, sensible, just, deserved, and correct have nothing to do with it. That’s life.

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