Do you ever feel like life isn’t fair? Do your kids scream “it’s not fair!” when they realize that their brother has one more tater tot than they do? or when their sister gets to go outside sooner because she finished her homework quicker? Does complaining about it ever make it better?
Ok, enough questions. Let’s just dive right in on “fairness”.
Fairness is a myth.
It is as big a myth as Godzilla or Bigfoot(although there is definitely one out there but it’s rare and has never been caught….bad example.) Fairness is something that is enforced only in games or situations when all parties involved have agreed on a set of rules. Even then things aren’t exactly “fair”. When is the last time you saw your favorite football team get ran off the field and been upset about how bad the officiating was? Point being that even when “fair” actually applies to a situation it doesn’t always reign supreme and can’t escape individual perspective.
Knowing that “fair” is a myth we don’t allow “it’s not fair!” in our house. When my family of three became a family of seven I called a family meeting and explained to all the children that nothing was ever going to be “fair”. My wife and I laid it out to them that we would do our best to be balanced in our parenting with all of them but that each one of them was different and were never to be judged by what the others had or didn’t have, got to do or didn’t get to do. We made a rule that none of us would ever say “it’s not fair” and if any of us break that rule justice will come quickly. We aren’t interested in merely being fair…Our aim is to raise strong, healthy, happy, wise and compassionate children that would never stoop so low as to just treat someone fairly.
We focus on teaching our kids how to thrive in a world that isn’t fair by teaching them to move forward, reframe, offer grace and mercy and to love unconditionally.
When our expectations of anything needing to be fair are gone we give ourselves permission to move on. Getting angry about perceived injustice is good and even noble at times but letting it handcuff us to unimportant situations is not. When we decide that things don’t have to be fair for us to be happy we are no longer obligated to being upset about them.
Taking the time to train your mind to reframe situations is an invaluable skill. It takes time, effort and humility to learn how to do but once you get the hang of it you’ll find it quite simple. I’m not talking about turning things into fairy tales but rather exploring other options and perspectives of situations that you face to uncover advantages, benefits or strategies that help you move forward.
Ask yourself a few questions…
Am I ok?
Do I really care?
How can I learn something from this?
What doors does this open for me?
If I can ask myself those questions and I still feel like I’ve been done wrong I go directly to the source and calmly confront the appropriate person to find out why. There just may be reasons that I wasn’t aware of that caused the situation. The majority of the time this exercise alone will reframe the situation due to the new information.
Grace and Mercy
Our lack of grace and mercy towards others can lead us to live a poisoned life that only affects us and not the ones we are upset with. Offering grace and mercy doesn’t make what someone has done to you ok but it does give you and them an opportunity to learn and grow from it. Feeling like we have been dealt with or treated in an unfair way can lead us to some dark places mentally and spiritually. Grace and Mercy are keys to overcoming that. They are also keys to unlocking the grace and mercy in others. Sure, you may get burned once or twice but if you live a lifestyle of grace and mercy then it will be given back to you tenfold when you need it…and you’re gonna need it.
Who wants a friend, a spouse, a child or a parent that is described as “fair” anway? That is a way you describe someone when you don’t have anything bad to say about them but can’t think of anything good to say either. Don’t aspire to be a “fair” friend, husband or dad. Be known as a man that loved unconditionally and gave more of himself than he demanded from those around him. Fairness put’s limits and conditions on love and I want no part of that. Fairness is a give and a take while unconditional love is a give and give some more…but when it flows from you it flows to you.
I promise that if you master these things you will never worry about life not being fair ever again and you will live a life that far exceeds it.
Have a blessed week!
LIGHT THE TORCH AND LEAD THE WAY!!