If you’re a parent, you have probably said this more times than you can count.
Especially if you have more than one child. At a very young age, we start watching for the scales to balance. And we notice quickly when they don’t. “He got more ice cream than I did…Why does she get to go and I don’t?…Why didn’t I get a car on my 16th birthday and he did? It’s not fair!”
That’s truth. It isn’t fair. If life was fair, politicians would be punished (or impeached) when they are found doing something illegal. Men and women would have equal salaries. People of color would have the same opportunities as white people. If life was fair, cancer wouldn’t be a thing. Calories in/calories out diets would work. Bosses would recognize effort over results.
Life isn’t fair. Life is life. And sometimes Life “Lifes” us.
The sooner we stop expecting life to be fair, we get a lot happier.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, no one would have blamed me if I put up a “WHY ME?” sign and complained that life wasn’t fair. Up to that point, I had done everything by the book. I lived a healthy lifestyle, didn’t smoke, wore my seatbelt. So it really didn’t seem fair that cancer chose me. I deserved a nice little pity party. But…
I was fortunate to have some really great mentors. One of them said to me shortly after my diagnosis, “You know you chose this right? At a very high level, your soul knew that this was the only way to learn the lessons you’re about to learn.” I made a choice, right there on the spot to be a student of the experience. Cancer was my teacher. Life isn’t fair, but in that potentially dark time, I found a sense of lightness in choosing how I walked through it.
In January, my Mom was in a very serious car accident. So. Not. Fair. She has been in a rehab facility for 2 months, coming back from over 16 broken bones. Both collar bones, her pelvis, wrist, and ribs. But not once have I heard her complain about how unfair life is. It happened. And every day she chooses to see the bright side. She made several new friends in rehab. She has seen so many extended family members and is so grateful for that. Every day she steps back toward healing. Her outlook is amazing, and I know it feels better to her to look forward, not back.
So the next time you are tempted to say “it’s not fair”, try on this new mantra. Life isn’t fair. But it’s still really, really good. And it’s way better than the alternative!