Like every other child, whenever I felt like I’d been wronged or slighted, I’d cry “That’s not fair!” Many of us continue to do this well into adulthood. “It’s not fair. I should have got the promotion!” “It’s not fair. I work hard, I should have more!” “It’s not fair fill-in-the-blank.” Well the cold, hard truth is that life isn’t fair.
We don’t always get what we deserve. Often times, we don’t get what we want. Sometimes we don’t even get what we need. Bad things happen to good people and bad people have good things happen to them.
I used to wonder why. I tried to figure out for myself why things unfolded the way they did. Maybe it’s God teaching a lesson. Maybe it’s a divine punishment. It could be that the person just makes bad decisions. Maybe they just have bad luck. It was an exercise in futility. The truth of the matter is that I don’t know and may never know.
What I do know is this. Because I can’t determine why bad things happen to good people, I can’t go around pointing the finger of blame. When a bad thing happens to someone, I don’t point assume that they have done something wrong because I don’t know. Also, I don’t want people pointing that ignorant and accusatory finger at me either.
Instead of figuring out why things have happened or who to blame, I try to determine the what, the where, and the how. What do I do now? Where do I go from here? How can I change this situation?
Accepting this truth is freeing. Once you stop expecting fairness, you are able to move forward and take life as it comes: the good, the bad and the ugly. You are also able to start appreciating and accepting what you have, the things you overlooked in your search for fairness.
- Maybe you didn’t get that promotion, but your current job gives you the time and flexibility that you would not have had with the other job.
- Maybe you haven’t lost weight, but you have a partner that loves and appreciates you the way you are.
- Maybe you weren’t blessed with children but you have many nieces and nephews, not to mention good friends.
- Maybe you didn't buy the house but your rent payments are very affordable.