May 3, 2014

"Honey, life isn't fair."

My beloved Aunt Maureen passed away today. I also brought my husband back from a week long stay at the hospital and he's still not feeling well. These, among other significant events in the past 30 days have left me feeling hopeless and almost bitter, wondering why life is so unfair.

When I was little, the injustices of my young life would get me so worked up and I would exclaim in frustration, "IT'S NOT FAIR!" My mother would reply to me with the same thing every time: "Honey, life isn't fair." I hated that reply. I hated that life wasn't fair. To me, it should have been. It didn't make sense to me that it wasn't.

I have grown a lot since those days, and I understand that life isn't fair, and in all reality, I accept that it's not fair for many good reasons, most importantly that of allowing each of us the freedom to choose, which means accepting the consequences that come from making unwise or selfish choices, be they our own or those of others. I'm a classical liberal because I believe in freedom for all, even if I disagree with how people use it. I believe in freedom even if it means that I get shorted or treated poorly in some way.

It's interesting to me, however, that despite this much more mature belief that I have developed since my childhood, I still find myself having an internal 'temper tantrum' every so often, exclaiming internally, "But it's NOT fair!" I catch myself when I say it, but that desire for justice never seems to fully go away. In fact, sometimes it's so bad that jealousy rages within, or the tears stream down my face, and I'm left wondering if I'll ever learn how to accept things as they are at all.

I think this is an age-old feeling - this desire for justice and fairness -- that is at the root of many good intentions, but also, ultimately, much distress and evil. It makes me wonder why it is so difficult for us humans to accept the beauty that life is, with all its beautiful yet terrifying opposites and glaringly obvious injustices. Some may only see a fight that can never really be won unless free choice is completely eliminated (and then what kind of result is that?). Only a rare few seem to be able to embrace the complexities of life; the injustices, the trials, the pains and the heartaches, right along with the joys, the wins, and the love -- and are able to not only see clearly how one side must exist to experience the other, but understand how to integrate this knowledge into their lives and subsequently becoming happier and freer than most of us can even imagine.

I hope someday to be one of those types of people. Then maybe the little naive girl inside of me will stop crying about life not being fair.

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