Saturday, November 16, 2013

On Fairness

Yesterday I was driving along trying to come to grips that it was again Friday while listening to talk radio like I am prone to do.  It is a habit that I picked up about twenty years ago when I spent a lot of time in the car in a job that involved travel.  I love music, but I'd much rather hear someone talking during a morning show, conservative talk radio, or even folks living on the edge of reality talking about UFOs.

Yes, they are out there.  Granted, it is usually at something like 5:00 a.m., but they are most assuredly there.

The great majority of people love Friday and I suppose I feel a little attached to it because I was born on a Friday.  So was my son.  Big Dave was born on Good Friday.  Jill was born on a Tuesday but we were so grateful to get her here that I tend to love that day, too.  So, bear in mind that Friday carries a special little place in my heart.  Friday also means that the following two days are going to involve pretty much doing whatever one wants or needs to do unless you are Big Dave and you work all of the time.

Except today...he has no plans for today.  Which, of course, means that he is blissfully unaware of the plans that I have for him today.  Bless his heart.

The older I get the more and more stunned to realize that it is Friday again.  I seem to have a recollection of passing through the days at work, on a project, feeding and loving my animals, and having lunch with sweet friends or doing something considered somewhat productive.  What is getting to me these days is the shock of how quickly the days have melted into weeks and into months and now years.  I see it in the children and grandchildren of my friends and family.  By seeing a child become a senior in high school one minute and looking at her wedding photos the next.  I kind of miss thinking that I had a whole lot of time to do things I wanted to do in life instead of being in the active business of living my dreams, interacting with people, and meeting my obligations...not necessarily in that order.  Because right now, time seems to be whipping around more like a car at Talladega than one going through a school zone.

While realizing that there are jackwagons that go through school zones in like manner.  In fact, I was said jackwagon yesterday when I went a different way to work and it failed to register with me that I was in a school zone because there wasn't much traffic. Fortunately, Johnny Law was off stopping speeders somewhere else, because I totally would have gotten a ticket, I'm quite sure.

And it would have been fair.

I have grown to hate the word "fair," by the way.  It is a concept that many of us have at one point in time or another gotten all caught up in as we pass through this life.  Often, it is because someone else seems to be getting away with something that we'd like to be getting away with save for annoyances like parents, gatekeepers and something called a conscience, if we are honest.  We see people who seem to be - (pardon the expression but other words fail me here) "bitch-slapped" by life - as they try to catch themselves reeling from one disappointment to another while keeping their chins up.  Born into families that are either dysfunctional or enabling, suffering disappointments because they don't know how to get from Point A to Point B - when all they really want is for someone to just love them.  They marry Mr. Wrong - sometimes more than once - and then their offspring tend to give them far more trouble than they deserve.  Not fair.

No, sir.  No, ma'am.

Life isn't fair.

The temptation is great for us to want everything to be fair.  To not want people to suffer and to do all that we can to alleviate that suffering.  Many people are called to do just that and they invest their lives in trying to make everything better for those who deserve far more than they get.  It is a noble and human and valiant love for other people that drives them and they just see this need out there and feel that they are the ones to just plunge in there to right whatever wrongs they can.  I don't fault them for this...and many people do a whole lot of good out there that inspires other people to replicate or support it.  But if you ask what is at the core of it all...sometimes it is because of the passion to serve, the joy of improving someone's life, or because they have the skill sets that they wish to employ in the service of the King.

But sometimes, it is because of the overwhelming desire to make life fair for others. This is where we part ways...because I don't feel that life is fair.  It wasn't meant to be.  It never will be.  To believe otherwise is to tug on Superman's cape, spit into the wind, or pull the mask off the Lone Ranger to quote the late Jim Croce.

Stay with me here.  I am NOT saying that we are not to try to make things better.  I am NOT saying that we shouldn't commit ourselves to improving life for others.  What I am saying is that we shouldn't try to equalize the playing field by dragging others (who deserve it, of course) down to make things "fair." Frankly, I'd rather bring those living lives that could be better to the sun (or the Son) than insist that the sun be blocked out if everyone else cannot get their fair share instead.  This is the age old struggle between the left and the right politically.  The pursuit of teaching a man to fish versus giving him a fish.

If life were fair, I'd be able to maintain a healthy weight and sing like my mother.  After all, that's my birthright, yes?  If life was fair, I'd be able to do what I loved all of the time instead of doing what I need to do to take care of what I'm responsible for, and I would have had the chance to raise my children instead of leaving that to others who chose that for an occupation.  If life was fair, everyone would agree with me and we'd all be neighbors and nobody would suffer and there would be no tears except for tears of joy.  If life was fair, everyone who wanted children would conceive them when they wanted to and they would all be born in exactly nine months - perfectly healthy - and they'd sleep through the night at two weeks.  We'd all drive late model cars, live in houses that don't require maintenance, and would attend schools that enrich our natural gifts instead of having to pay to attend them.  Our religious rights would be undeniable and we'd embrace different cultures with appreciation and understanding - including those who wish to kill us because we don't agree with them.  It would be one giant love-fest with no disease, no harsh words, and no pain.

Because for it to be "fair" - cancer wouldn't exist, there would always be enough to go around, and everyone would get a trophy for participation.  We'd recycle, spend time communing with nature, and we'd all have plenty of time to pursue what makes our hearts sing.  There would be no famine, no war, and nobody left out because everyone would be all-inclusive, all of the time.  There would be no discrimination, no broken bones, and no broken hearts.

And one day this will a place far away called heaven.

But not here.  We need to understand that.

And yet we don't.  We keep trying to change the rules so "it never happens again" and nobody will get hurt.  We sue companies for being greedy or abusive or just plain wrong.  We get angry when someone has all of the good heaped on them because some of that should go around.  Don't believe that last one?  Then you haven't raised a daughter.

Or been a girl.  Or knew one.

No, life isn't fair.  It is not meant to be.  It is meant to be appreciated and lived.  It is not meant to be nirvana.  That comes later once we survive all of...well...this...and finish the race well.  Nobody said it would be easy.  Nobody said it would be pain-free.  Nobody said we'd get out of here with our hearts intact.

It is beautiful, and cruel, and messy and dangerous.  And most assuredly not fair.

I have been blessed beyond measure, but I am keenly aware of this.  I know that there are hungry people in the world, people who are living out the consequences of their decisions and behaviors and those who are hurting through no fault of their own.  It is our job to try to work toward eliminating this need.  It is as old as history itself and as painful now as it was in years past.  We should all strive to open our eyes to what we can do not only to meet the immediate needs...but the root causes as well.

But trying to make everyone else's quality of life the same with a cell phone in every Coach purse and perfectly coiffed hair, filet mignon on an EBT card and designer clothes?  Well, let's just say that this is a far cry from a "chicken in every pot."  And it is this type of "fairness" that I have no patience for to say the least.

Try to focus on the concept of fairness for a minute and think about your situation.  Are you blessed?  Or are you just mad because someone wore the crown, got the guy/gal, lives in a bigger house and drives something better than you do?  Because if you're just totally need to pull your head out, take your participation trophies to Goodwill and get over yourself.  Sorry for the harshness, but someone needs to hurt your feelings.

I know that life isn't fair because my life has historically either been far worse than I wanted or far better than I deserved.  There has never been anytime in my life where I thought that everything was fair.  I either got too big a piece of the pie...or was shortchanged and learned from the experience.  I hardly have any recollection of anything in between.

So, go out there today and be blessed.  Quit focusing (and voting) for "fairness" and start trying to figure out ways to "elevate" other people out of circumstances as you are directed.  Be a good friend, family member, spouse, neighbor, church member, employee, or whatever and show people the way out instead of insisting that it be legislated.

Sorry, I'm a Conservative. Sometimes that seeps out...and other times I'm awash in it.  The latter is true as I write this.

I'm hoping that each of you realize how incredibly blessed you are.  You may have had something bad happen to you in your life and you're reeling from it.  You may have made some choices that make you wince when Satan brings them back to your memory.  You may have a broken heart over watching someone else suffer when the mean girls seem to be winning.  Or may be a mean girl who grew up to be a mean woman who cuts down everyone she can at the knees just because she can.

Gee, I hope not.

Keep your eyes open and your heart ready to help those reeling from this thing we call life.  Throw them a lifeline of prayer, assistance and fight for them to make it better for others.  But don't get sucked into thinking that we all have to have the exact same level of joy in this world.  That's like cutting the caterpillar out of the cocoon instead of letting it fight its way out.  By "helping" the caterpillar in this makes it impossible for the butterfly to develop the strength in its wings to fly.  If you don't believe me...look around you.  Grounded butterflies are everywhere you look in the spirit of "fairness."

Have a great weekend and be blessed.  Thanks for reading.  :)


  1. Amen and Amen!!! Thanks for saying what we all think at one time or another. I am blessed by your gift of words...<3

    1. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment! I appreciate the fact that you do! :)