A little perspective on the word ‘unfair’

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First of all, it is vital to a well balanced, likeable personality to know when something is unfair. It is the reason the concept of justice exists, so that people can stop a situation and say “sorry, that’s just not fair, it’s not going to happen that way.” Of course ‘justice’ itself is an imperfectly executed concept, often resulting in mere retribution rather than actual correction of the imbalance it was addressing, but it is still terribly important to know the distinction. It is the difference between being content with your lot whilst being trodden underfoot and growing a backbone to defend yourself, or others.

However, the word is increasingly over-used and I would like to offer a little perspective to consider whenever you find yourself saying it too regularly. It is unfair when you have tonnes of work and people who don’t have much to do keep giving you more and more. That is unfair. The fact that it is raining when you have done your hair is not unfair, because rain is not personal. Someone verbally abusing you over something tiny just because they are having a bad day and need to let off steam is unfair. Someone else winning a competition or being better at something than you is not unfair, it’s just random and sums up life.

To give you even more perspective, when you’re feeling down and feel that life is unfair, just stop and think about how lucky you are. If you are a woman, this is the possibly the best time to be alive in all of history, although it may not feel like it sometimes. You have rights, you are (hopefully) free to marry or not when it suits you. You can work and can’t be traded for a sheep. And although that work may suck, you get free time to pursue your own hobbies and see friends. A thousand years ago they did not have the concept of weekends. The only day off was a festival day, and you got maybe one a month. We moan about the working week now but we are ridiculously lucky to get two days to ourselves on a regular basis! If you are religious it is unlikely in the UK that you will be stoned to death for your beliefs. If you are ill you can get medication that was not even dreamt of a hundred years ago. If you want to own property you have the right to work for it and buy it. You are not a slave. You can listen to what music you like, read what you like, educate yourself, and run around freely outside to your heart’s content without any lord or nobleman riding up to you and beating you with a stick for not working the fields.

You are insanely lucky to be who you are. If you don’t remember that, you are an idiot.

Lastly, and remember this because it is very important, life does not owe you anything. It is what you make of it. People are unfair, life can just be a little sad sometimes.

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