Life: The Game Isn’t Fair. Now What?

Have you ever decided not to do something because someone else has a better shot? Have you ever given up because you didn’t get the outcome you think you deserved?

If so, do you know what that is? It’s a form of protesting on the grounds of unfairness.

Choosing to stay out of the game or quit because it’s unfair is irrational and illogical. We forget “fairness” is man-made.

Fairness is not absolute. It’s not a tree or a rock or a lung.

Fairness is something we concoct and revise. It’s something that’s defined differently by different people. It’s something that’s judged and valued differently in different places.

A lot of people a lot of the time choose to go along with the current and local version of fairness just to keep things flowing smoothly. If they don’t, we can often take action against them.

Or, at the very least, we can pressure them to do better by us by making noise that earns us sympathy and empathy. That threat of backlash from those who co-sign the claim that we were treated unfairly is sometimes enough to scare people into being more fair to us. But even if we manage to get our way, the reality remains: life is not required to operate by our rules or adhere to our standards.

Life does not owe you health, wealth, or equal opportunities. Life isn’t obligated to be nice or dress up for the party.

Life can be unethical and cruel without reason. Life can slap you in the face for believing in something so light-minded as being entitled to fairness. Life does not have to reward you for your hard work.

The reality is some people have sharper skills and better tools. Some people have more connections and more money. Some people get a better starting point and a smoother ride. In some cases, a person will put in six and get 12. You may put up 12 and see it swallowed — no recognition and no return.

That’s life. Real life.

By its nature, life is not fair. It never was. It never will be. And there’s no court of appeals to present your case.

Each of us faces different odds. And despite that fact, we have to carry on in one fashion or another. But how we do that is a matter of choice, and those choices determine the prospects of winning or losing.

You can cower and cry. You can live bitter and battered from your falls. You can vow you’ll only do the bare minimum because you were given so little while others were given so much.

But if those are your choices, keep your expectations low because the outlook is not promising. You cannot win a game you aren’t playing.

Now, for best results, if you really want to be an achiever, choose a life of positive pursuit.

Set your sight on things and be determined. Push forward when the headwinds are against you. Get up when you’re knocked down. Work hard regardless of the conditions.

You may get what you want. You may get more than you imagined. But then again, you may not get anything.

The harder you try, the more the odds shift in your favor. But it’s still a game of chance. And, in it, life owes you nothing.