Article #43, March, 2006
Life Is Not Easy; Life Is Not Fair
Why would an ordinarily intelligent person choose to be uninspired? We all have choices in life, so why choose apathy, negativity and/or fear? Mostly, people make the choices they do because it serves them in some way and perhaps they fear the unknown. I have heard this referred to as the "comfort zone"; although I couldn't tell you what's comfortable about misery and self-doubt.
Two concepts that really help me are "Life is not easy" and "Life is not fair." These may not sound very inspiring or uplifting, but they help me all the time.
Knowing in advance that life is not easy or fair aids me in accepting, dealing and forgiving. For example, my daughters lost their father over 2 years ago. It was difficult for all of us. I learned a lot about myself in this experience, and became a stronger person - whether I wanted to or not.
Believing that life is not easy or fair made it easier to deal with reality. Many, many children have grown up without a father and lead very happy lives. We were fortunate in many ways compared to other children. They knew their Dad and had a great relationship with him, he wasn't killed in war and didn't suffer a terrible disease like AIDS - many children must deal with these situations today. It's really not fair, but we're not alone, and we count our blessings.
My younger daughter has a habit of comparing herself to others and worrying what others are thinking about her. Having a deep understanding that life isn't fair really helps both of us in these situations. Comparing ourselves to others is a dangerous business! Everyone has their gifts, and they are not always apparent.
It's easy to see when someone has the gift of outer beauty, but not so easy to see when someone has the gift of healing or perception. While my daughter may be smart and have other gifts, it isn't fair for her to compare herself to another child who can run a mile in 7 minutes at age 10.
As adults, we feel judged, too. In some ways, this does serve us. We dress up and use our best manners when applying for work or trying to win a big contract because frankly, we are being judged. If, however, we don't go to the gym because we're afraid of being judged based on our appearance, that does much more harm. Nobody is great at everything and we should appreciate not only others' gifts, but our own as well.
Fully understanding the profundity of life being neither easy nor fair contributes to my happiness every day. I no longer blame and minimally judge. I don't waste energy with useless comparisons of outer beauty or success. Instead I put my energy into tasks and strategies that will ultimately result in happiness - for me and for others. I am happy because I work at it, and I am grateful.