Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The World Isn’t Fair

 

As a child, I would get so annoyed with my mother when she would tell me, “The world isn’t fair.” She believed that with all her heart because her life experiences had taught her that truth. She had been knocked down many times, but always managed to pick herself up. She learned, after a while, that many of her disappointments came from her own choices; she also realized, however, that things didn’t always turn out the way she wished they would have.

As a person who lives pretty much on the optimistic side of the worldview scale, you might be surprised to see that I agree with my mother. No matter how I want things to be, it’s sometimes a coin flip to see how they turn out. And most of the time when they don’t pan out, it’s not that important or I can learn from the experience.

In my life, I repeatedly get the message that the world isn’t fair. We had a roof leak repaired and for reasons I won’t go into here, the ceiling in the laundry room caved in. We had a huge mess on our hands. So what did we do? Did we rant and rave against roofers, against the weather, against shoddy work? Did we spend time dwelling on our misfortune? Nope. We registered our complaint and got multiple bids to replace the entire roof (since that need was on the horizon).

They will start the roof replacement in about two weeks. Did we rant and rave about the lo-o-o-n-g process to get all the approvals, order the tile and receive it from the manufacturer? Nope. My husband put up plastic that fed into a plastic bin so that the water from all the rainy days we’ve had didn’t turn our laundry room into a lake. Nothing was fair about the process, and it was tempting to dwell on it, blame people, or make the choice to focus on other things.

What about the news media? It’s not fair. It is enormously biased, mentally deranged, hyperbolic and annoying as can be. No matter how I try, I can’t get away from it. When I hear the commentators (I mean, lackeys for the Democrat party), I turn them off. And I listen to broadcasters that show just a bit more objectivity and balance. I find places to share my views and expand my perceptions (like Ricochet).

There are a lot of people in our home development who are Progressives. I avoid most of them but am friendly with a few because they are good people in spite of their delusions. We just don’t talk politics. I try to make wise choices regarding the people I welcome into my life, those I engage with, and those who I think share my values.

And I avoid the rest.

I continually remind myself that I have choices: I can choose where I go, with whom I communicate, with whom I invest my emotional energy, with whom I confide, and with whom I spend my time. In any given environment there will be people I don’t like; I avoid them and I quite frankly don’t care how they live their lives. Instead, I focus on the good people.

The world is not fair. But the people with whom I associate are more than fair, good people. That’s enough for me.

There are 44 comments.

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  1. Bob Thompson Member

    Be thankful for the ability to control outcomes in some small aspects of your life. ‘Fair’ is a concept about which one’s thinking about life in this world should show restraint and doubt in large measure. Western civilization is the only place it can even sensibly rise to a level of interest in any discussion. We try our best at least to have a government here in America that acknowledges the concept as something to strive for but we are mostly thwarted in that effort.

    Nothing about life is fair.

    • #1
    • December 23, 2018, at 10:27 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Nothing about life is fair.

    So true. The problem (I believe) for some people is that they focus on fairness–which is bizarre, since Conservatives should know better. Like that idea of the Progs who think fairness means equality (or what they want), rather than equal opportunity. So we are so much better off not obsessing about those things that we can’t control (which is almost everything) and instead recognize all that we have and enjoy, and the choices we can make.

    • #2
    • December 23, 2018, at 10:32 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. The Reticulator Member

    More like a carnival than a fair. 

    • #3
    • December 23, 2018, at 11:49 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    More like a carnival than a fair.

    Ha! Good one! And so true.

    • #4
    • December 23, 2018, at 11:57 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Bob Thompson Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Nothing about life is fair.

    So true. The problem (I believe) for some people is that they focus on fairness–which is bizarre, since Conservatives should know better. Like that idea of the Progs who think fairness means equality (or what they want), rather than equal opportunity. So we are so much better off not obsessing about those things that we can’t control (which is almost everything) and instead recognize all that we have and enjoy, and the choices we can make.

    This obsession is exactly what is going on with the progressives and has been for some time. It is a great disservice to our young people.

    • #5
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:25 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    This obsession is exactly what is going on with the progressives and has been for some time. It is a great disservice to our young people.

    It breaks my heart, @bobthompson. But I also wonder if we’re being infected by the same disease. Are we expecting things because we think they are fair or correct? Doesn’t that sound just a bit like entitlement?? I’ll have to mull over that possibility. It’s really disconcerting.

    • #6
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:28 PM PST
    • Like
  7. Fritz Member

    To move beyond one’s immature expectations, I have been told (and have experienced its truth as well), an important, early step into adulthood is when one realizes and accepts that “there is no one coming to rescue you.”

    And one healthy response to that thought is the realization of one’s own agency, that is, the freedom to make one’s choices in response.

    • #7
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:42 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    The world is the way the world is. The question is how to define “fair”. We all have an equal shot in the genetic lottery. Maybe you are born with great parents or maybe you have crappy/no parents. It is fair because it all assignments of souls persons are equally likely (excluding some Eastern religions). Thus, the world is perfectly fair.

    But, maybe “fair” is defined as equal opportunity to everyone born. In reality, opportunity varies greatly depending on the conditions of one’s birth. But it is an American ideal to provide everyone with a good opportunity for success. We are not there, but if equal opportunity is important to you, be thankful there is an America. 

    But, maybe “fair” is defined as equal outcome. Now are getting to Leftist ideology. The ideal sounds great, but in reality it is “Animal Farm”, where some people are more “equal” than others. But people are varied and some prefer this type of world over the “equal opportunity” world. I hope they are able to live in France or Russia or Venezuala, so they can be happy.

    But, maybe “fair” is a perception of equality. Since people have varied personalities, they will have varied perceptions even when outcomes are exactly equal. As my dad used to say, “that’s why they make Fords and Chevys”. If identical outcomes are still unfair, then the best we can do is give people the freedom to achieve their own definition of happiness. In which case, we should be thankful there is an America.

    So, the world is not “fair”, but depending on your definition of fairness, there are better or worse places to live.

    • #8
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Bob Thompson Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    This obsession is exactly what is going on with the progressives and has been for some time. It is a great disservice to our young people.

    It breaks my heart, @bobthompson. But I also wonder if we’re being infected by the same disease. Are we expecting things because we think they are fair or correct? Doesn’t that sound just a bit like entitlement?? I’ll have to mull over that possibility. It’s really disconcerting.

    I don’t know the answer to your last question. A big issue since Donald Trump was elected has been the appointment and resulting actions of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel. I understand at the moment that no investigation, including IG areas of investigation, no subpeana, no declassification, no testimony or any other matter can be initiated within the DoJ without a sign-off by Mueller’s team. This is about ‘rule of law’ rather than fairness. There is a need for an AG to shut this thing down so there can be a legitimate inquiry. Or a new Special Counsel without such restrictions.

    • #9
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:50 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Fritz (View Comment):

    To move beyond one’s immature expectations, I have been told (and have experienced its truth as well), an important, early step into adulthood is when one realizes and accepts that “there is no one coming to rescue you.”

    And one healthy response to that thought is the realization of one’s own agency, that is, the freedom to make one’s choices in response.

    Outstanding, @fritz. When we realize that so many of these decisions support freedom, how can we not come to terms with this reality? It reminds me of when I was still practicing Zen Buddhism and was miserable with my teacher. I finally realized I didn’t have to tolerate her bad behavior because she wasn’t going to make me a sensei anyway! Talk about liberation! And finding my way back to Judaism.

    • #10
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:52 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    DonG (View Comment):
    But, maybe “fair” is a perception of equality. Since people have varied personalities, they will have varied perceptions even when outcomes are exactly equal. As my dad used to say, “that’s why they make Fords and Chevys”. If identical outcomes are still unfair, then the best we can do is give people the freedom to achieve their own definition of happiness. In which case, we should be thankful there is an America.

    Well said. Although there are never identical outcomes (but I know what you mean @dong). I love your dad’s statement, too. Great wisdom. 

    • #11
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:54 PM PST
    • Like
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I understand at the moment that no investigation, including IG areas of investigation, no subpeana, no declassification, no testimony or any other matter can be initiated within the DoJ without a sign-off by Mueller’s team.

    I hadn’t heard this. It’s bizarre.

    • #12
    • December 23, 2018, at 12:56 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Bob Thompson Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I understand at the moment that no investigation, including IG areas of investigation, no subpeana, no declassification, no testimony or any other matter can be initiated within the DoJ without a sign-off by Mueller’s team.

    I hadn’t heard this. It’s bizarre.

    Real Clear Politics:

    The Justice Department Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into TownPaul Sperry, RCI

    • #13
    • December 23, 2018, at 1:01 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Fritz Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Fritz (View Comment):

    To move beyond one’s immature expectations, I have been told (and have experienced its truth as well), an important, early step into adulthood is when one realizes and accepts that “there is no one coming to rescue you.”

    And one healthy response to that thought is the realization of one’s own agency, that is, the freedom to make one’s choices in response.

    Outstanding, @fritz. When we realize that so many of these decisions support freedom, how can we not come to terms with this reality?

    [snip]

    Exactly. I also like the old saying that “having good judgment comes with experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” 

    Cheers!

    • #14
    • December 23, 2018, at 1:10 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. The Reticulator Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I understand at the moment that no investigation, including IG areas of investigation, no subpeana, no declassification, no testimony or any other matter can be initiated within the DoJ without a sign-off by Mueller’s team.

    I hadn’t heard this. It’s bizarre.

    Real Clear Politics:

    The Justice Department Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into TownPaul Sperry, RCI

    Interesting. I learned nothing about this from the HateTrump headlines in the WSJ.

    • #15
    • December 23, 2018, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: The world is not fair. But the people with whom I associate are more than fair, good people. That’s enough for me.

    I think of the world as arbitrary – it’s the world, and it’s there. We are tasked to make the best of what the world has to offer, given the circumstances of our birth, our talents, and our beliefs of whether or not there is a better place waiting after we depart.

    There’s the expression, “Life’s a b*tch, then you die.” While there is truth to it, we can also have one helluva good time while we’re here, and do some damned good things in the process . . .

    • #16
    • December 23, 2018, at 1:31 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Bob Thompson Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I understand at the moment that no investigation, including IG areas of investigation, no subpeana, no declassification, no testimony or any other matter can be initiated within the DoJ without a sign-off by Mueller’s team.

    I hadn’t heard this. It’s bizarre.

    Real Clear Politics:

    The Justice Department Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into TownPaul Sperry, RCI

    Interesting. I learned nothing about this from the HateTrump headlines in the WSJ.

    There is a theory that President Trump has lots of leverage related to matters that he can initiate, hirings, firings, and declassifications to deal with the harassment that he has endured. Wondering when that happens.

    • #17
    • December 23, 2018, at 1:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Weeping Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    …. we are so much better off not obsessing about those things that we can’t control (which is almost everything) and instead recognize all that we have and enjoy, and the choices we can make.

    • #18
    • December 23, 2018, at 1:59 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. RightAngles Member

    One of the first times my mom heard me say “That’s not fair!” (I was about 5 years old), she said, “Life is not fair. If life were fair, I’d be in my villa on the French Riviera right now.” To this day, I think “It’s not fair” is something only five-year-olds would say. And as for the Progs, their idea of “fair” is spreading the misery around evenly, so they can go butt a stump. As my mom also would say.

    • #19
    • December 23, 2018, at 2:03 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. Joe Boyle Member

    I met a person working as a tech in an ER. He was a qualified nurse. When I asked him about this he told me that at one time he was very much in love with a woman. She accused him of seeing another woman, he denied it. She said I don’t believe it get out. He decided that’s not fair and fairness required that he burn down her house. One problem she was in the house. He was caught and sent to prison and served some years. When he got out he decided to study nursing. He was told that even if he graduated and passed the test, he would never get a nursing license. He told himself that’s not fair. It’ll be five years from now and twelve years since the crime. Surely the licensing authority will recognize the new him, all his hard work and be fair. So, after the work, all the expense, all the testing he was denied a license. He said to me that’s not fair. At that point I was reminded of Fr Geisel as he was giving me ten pages for JUG. I said it wasn’t my fault, and that’s not fair. He said son life isn’t fair and you can consider this an important life lesson.

    • #20
    • December 23, 2018, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    I understand at the moment that no investigation, including IG areas of investigation, no subpeana, no declassification, no testimony or any other matter can be initiated within the DoJ without a sign-off by Mueller’s team.

    I hadn’t heard this. It’s bizarre.

    Real Clear Politics:

    The Justice Department Sheriff Who Never Quite Rode Into TownPaul Sperry, RCI

    OMG. Thanks, Bob. 

    • #21
    • December 23, 2018, at 2:40 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Full Size Tabby Member

    I’m as prone as anyone to complain that “it’s not fair.” I believe I was laid off from my last job because of my age, race, and sex (I was the oldest white man in the job category).

    But then I hear (I think it’s Andrew Klavan from whom I most often hear it), “If you were born in the United States [which I was], you won the lottery of life.” That always brings me up short. With few exceptions, the worst experience in the United States is better than the daily experience of probably at least 70% of today’s world population, and certainly is better than 90% of historical populations. 

    • #22
    • December 23, 2018, at 3:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  23. KentForrester Moderator

    The universe obviously doesn’t care about us one whit.

    Time and chance happen to us all. One person is born with scoliosis and lives out his three years and then dies in agony. His friend next door lives a hundred years in perfect health and, as a wizened old man in bed, like King David, has a young virgin to keep him warm.

    A good man is struck dead when a car comes up on the sidewalk and runs him over; that same car barely misses the evil guy walking next to him, who then lives out his life preying on others.

    For those who believe, an afterlife with a Heaven and Hell provides an answer to this unhappy state of affairs. There, the good man is rewarded and the evil man punished. Forever. Wouldn’t it be pretty if it were so.

    • #23
    • December 23, 2018, at 3:22 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I’m as prone as anyone to complain that “it’s not fair.” I believe I was laid off from my last job because of my age, race, and sex (I was the oldest white man in the job category).

    But then I hear (I think it’s Andrew Klavan from whom I most often hear it), “If you were born in the United States [which I was], you won the lottery of life.” That always brings me up short. With few exceptions, the worst experience in the United States is better than the daily experience of probably at least 70% of today’s world population, and certainly is better than 90% of historical populations.

    Very well said, @fullsizetabby. How blessed all of us are! Thanks!

    • #24
    • December 23, 2018, at 3:50 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Stad (View Comment):
    There’s the expression, “Life’s a b*tch, then you die.” While there is truth to it, we can also have one helluva good time while we’re here, and do some damned good things in the process . . .

    And that’s the point, isn’t it @stad? To a great degree, we can decide how we want to live out our lives, in spite of the difficulties that come our way. We can either be depressed about what happens to us, and dwell on the unfairness, or we can shake ourselves off and start anew. It’s our choice.

    • #25
    • December 23, 2018, at 4:06 PM PST
    • Like
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    For those who believe, an afterlife with a Heaven and Hell provide an answer to this unhappy state of affairs. There, the good man is rewarded and the evil man punished. Forever. Wouldn’t it be pretty if it were so.

    All beautifully said, @kentforrester. I like the attitude of Jews: make the very most of this life and don’t wonder who gets what, and the rest will take care of itself. Although I do believe in final justice!

    • #26
    • December 23, 2018, at 4:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn:

    I continually remind myself that I have choices: I can choose where I go, with whom I communicate, with whom I invest my emotional energy, with whom I confide, and with whom I spend my time. In any given environment there will be people I don’t like; I avoid them and I quite frankly don’t care how they live their lives. Instead, I focus on the good people.

    The world is not fair. But the people with whom I associate are more than fair, good people. That’s enough for me.

    Amen to that, Susan. In the long run, both the people in our lives, and the circumstances we find ourselves in, have only as much control over us as we choose to give them.

    Great post. Thanks.

    • #27
    • December 23, 2018, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    One of the first times my mom heard me say “That’s not fair!” (I was about 5 years old), she said, “Life is not fair. If life were fair, I’d be in my villa on the French Riviera right now.” To this day, I think “It’s not fair” is something only five-year-olds would say. And as for the Progs, their idea of “fair” is spreading the misery around evenly, so they can go butt a stump. As my mom also would say.

    We were going through a bout of this when our boys were 5 and 7 concern things not being fair (especially how one was treated vs the other). At one point my wife pulled the boy’s birth certificate from the safe, made copies and laminated them. The next time the boys got into one of those tirades, she pull the copies and handed to each of the them their birth certificate and stated that this is the only paper work that came with them at birth. She asked them to show her any of these guarantees of life long equity for anything they keep claiming need to be made fair.

    It took years for them to formulate a better argument.

    • #28
    • December 23, 2018, at 6:40 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  29. Randy Webster Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    Nothing about life is fair.

    So true. The problem (I believe) for some people is that they focus on fairness–which is bizarre, since Conservatives should know better. Like that idea of the Progs who think fairness means equality (or what they want), rather than equal opportunity. So we are so much better off not obsessing about those things that we can’t control (which is almost everything) and instead recognize all that we have and enjoy, and the choices we can make.

    “What man who has lived for more than a score of years desires justice, warrior? For my part, I find mercy infinitely more attractive.” Roger Zelazny.

    • #29
    • December 23, 2018, at 7:13 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    GLDIII (View Comment):
    The next time the boys got into one of those tirades, she pull the copies and handed to each of the them their birth certificate and stated that this is the only paper work that came with them at birth. She asked them to show her any of these guarantees of life long equity for anything they keep claiming need to be made fair.

    Excellent, @gldiii. She gave an especially powerful message by showing them something tangible to make her point. Congrats to both of you!

    • #30
    • December 24, 2018, at 5:51 AM PST
    • 1 like

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