If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be. — John Heywood
Have you ever had the feeling that life is not fair? Sometimes when we have setbacks or when others seem to be more blessed than we are, this feeling can creep in. Well, if it is any consolation, if you have felt life is unfair, you were absolutely right!
Life truly is not fair. Fairness implies some kind of agreed-upon rules by which the game of life will somehow abide. However, there is no referee or rules committee to ensure equality and justice for all.
Life is more about how we play the cards we are given. It is also about the attitude we choose to adopt. We will be happier to the degree that we can focus on what is good about our situation. We will also be happier to the degree that we ask what we can give to life, rather than what we can get out of it.
We will all experience challenges at some point. We may even be heartbroken. Yet even in the heartbroken loss of a loved one, we can still celebrate the fact that we were blessed at all by the presence of that person in our lives.
Note that I am talking here about life being unfair, not people or institutions. Naturally, we need to stand up to injustice in situations where there are rules and expectations about fairness.
Life, on the other hand … well, if we think about people who are in war zones, facing starvation, or in any way struggling to just survive, we are reminded again of how unfair life can be, and how blessed we really are.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning psychotherapist.