When I was growing up with a twin brother, we kept tabs on fairness. Whose piece of dessert was bigger? Who got to stay out later? Who went to more sleepovers? And so on… we kept track. This was enforced by Mom saying things like, “I’m trying to be fair.” All noble intentions, but it set a course of expectation that life should be “evened out” in fairness.
As a young child, my dad died. That wasn’t fair. But we sighed in relief to know that we had faced the worst of possibilities, and that we would not lose another close relative. (So far, that has remained so, thank God.) Fairness in the Universal laws, right?
But of course, that is not how life works. After all, seedlings drop from trees all the time, but only a few take root, and of those, only a very few become trees. Unfairly, most seeds will not become trees.
Having had the experience of losing my dad so young, and struggling with the concept of fairness my entire growing up years, I decided that I would not emphasize things being fair while raising my own boys. And I am glad that I didn’t, because they were so different from each other. What worked for one would have never worked for the other son. For instance, my older son never needed a curfew, while the younger son stretched the limit of being out on a weekend night and so we had to set curfew.
This is how it goes. Life is not fair. So what? I am a very healthy person who practices yoga 3-4 hours daily, but I have had lower back issues on and off for 15 years. My husband is not in the best shape, but he can chop and move wood around for eight hours straight, later lying on the floor with his feet raised for only 30 minutes to take away his discomfort in his back. Some people have addictions, while others do not. Diseases and afflictions strike without warning.
The lesson in life is to not be the victim of unfairness, but to accept what it is and move forward. How many of us woke up feeling like a victim this morning? Can we finish our day just moving forward with the idea that “this is what it is” and I don’t need to feel like a victim?