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A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Rihanna currently has a song doing the rounds which includes the words "You think I'm crazy...it's not fair".  Leaving aside the sentiment expressed about Ri-Ri's sanity, which I shan't debate in this blog, I got to thinking about whether "It's not fair" is a reasonable complaint.

The truth seems to be that things are only not fair when we demand that they should be, but for the most part we accept inherent inequalities without complaint.  More particularly, we rarely raise the complaint when we are in the perceived better position.  For instance, if I have studied, worked hard, have a good job and earn a decent income, does that then mean that it's not fair when someone else has not followed my path and is struggling financially. Or is it not fair when someone has followed more or less the same path, but has been presented with some opportunity by Life which has catapulted him or her into a super-wealth bracket?

When a parent divides a cupcake between her two children, there is perhaps a legitimate expectation of fairness in the size of the shares, but outside of that situation why should anything be fair?  Life is not supposed to fair: it just dishes up what it dishes up to different people and your opportunity is to see what you can do with it. It is only what is between our ears that demands fairness and perceives unfairness.  Is it fair that your parents were alcoholics, or that you were born with a squint, or that you have shorter legs than Usain Bolt, or a lower IQ than Einstein or a deathly singing voice and no ear for tones?  Or is that just the way that it is?

Perhaps the only time one is entitled to expect fairness is when laws governing a group of people are made.  In a democratic society, it is legitimate to expect laws which apply and are applied equally to everyone, which is why we get so hacked off with corruption, apartheid, gender discrimination and so on.   It is inconceivable that everything in life can be fair i.e that we each get exactly the same breaks, pursue the same careers, have the same 2.5 children or whatever the national average is, earn exactly the same income and so on.  

Life is fair just as it is because you get exactly what you need to continue your journey, including some things that you consider unfair so that you can learn just how to deal with them.

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