It’s not fair!
As a parent I’ve heard that phrase countless times. As a daughter, sibling, friend, and wife I’ve said it just as many times.
It’s a true statement. Life isn’t fair. Nothing is.
Fair is not getting what others get. Having what others have. Seeing what others see, having the same benefits that others have, nor even experiencing the same hardships that others experience.
There is no fair.
When my husband and I agreed to hey, why not have some kids, I got pregnant. It took us a few months of sort of trying and yet not really trying to achieve this. Just when I started to wonder why am I not pregnant? – I was. The second time around was even easier. We knew there were others who desperately wanted children, would sell an arm or a leg for the privilege, and indeed spent their life’s savings on fertility treatments. We also knew people who had sacrificed just as much time, heartache, and money to adopt a child to raise as their own. Still others gave up trying. Meanwhile, ours came along as easily as finding a penny in a parking lot.
It wasn’t fair.
When I stopped working for a salary to support my husband in his career by focusing on managing our home life instead of pursuing my own career, I experienced a period of longing for fairness. It lasted a long time. Is it fair that he gets all the glory while advancing ever upward in his line of work while I fritter away my young adult years at home finding piddly little projects with which to fill my time? Is it fair that he dined out in far-off locales, having adult conversations with other like-minded grownups while I struggled to bed wriggling, nightmare-prone children night after night?
Later I asked another question: Is it fair that I get to live most of my life in the home we built while he spends just a fraction of his waking hours living here?
None of it is fair.
Just as we are unique, so are our experiences. We can spend our lives peering over the fence, yearning for better opportunities that are offered to others. We can also be smug and insular, cocooning ourselves from the rest of the world to preserve and hide the inequalities that benefit us and that we enjoy every day.
Or we can just live the life that we have been given, share it with others, and accept that life isn’t fair for any of us.
We can accept that someone will always be richer, thinner, smarter, younger, healthier, prettier, more blessed, successful, ambitious, fortunate, confident, have a nicer house, better sense of style, keener memory, sharper discernment, cooler dance moves, tell a funnier joke, write a more relatable blog post, call a more interesting city home, and boast a finely cultivated set of talents.
And we can acknowledge that there will also be someone whose life we can describe by the exact opposite of these things.
When we think about those opposite things, does fair matter anymore?
Fair is living our lives without labeling others or comparing. We might not have been given the same chances, but we each have the opportunity to make the best of those chances. Fair is fair, after all.
That’s all it ever will be.
This post inspired by:
Prompt #4: Write a blog post inspired by the word: fair