virgin islands scene

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh


The MONTHLY Motivator - June 2013

Life is not fair

Life is not fair. It never has been, and it never will be. Some people are born with powerful advantages. Others are born with crippling disadvantages. For everyone, in different ways and at different times for each person, life is challenging. And although life is not fair, it is dynamic and responsive. Though life is not fair, and though life presents you with endless challenges, you have the opportunity to do something about those challenges. One very important thing you can do is to dream, and use the power of those dreams to triumph even in the face of all the unfairness and the challenges.

It can be easy to assume that other people are the source of life’s unfairness. It seems obvious that things such as racism, greed, sexism, lust for power and other human shortcomings are what cause life’s unfairness, and that if we could just get rid of all that unfair, abusive behavior, life would be rich and fulfilling for everyone. Certainly greed and racism and all the rest do exist and can cause great harm to many people. Yet those things are not the source of life’s unfairness. Even if we were to end them completely we would not end the unfairness in life.

If you believe that all of life’s unfairness and troubles are caused by other people, consider this. Think about how it would be if you were dropped off in the most remote part of the Amazon jungle, hundreds of miles from the nearest person, completely out of the influence of other people. Would you still face challenges? Would life still be unfair? Consider how it would be if you were there completely naked and unequipped, with no clothes, no shoes, no map or compass or GPS device or satellite phone, no food, no water, no matches or lighter, and without even a container that you could fill with water. In other words, you would be completely free from all the unfairness imposed upon life by imperfect, self-serving people. What would you do? How long would you last? Do you think you would continue to encounter any unfairness? What if you came across a hungry jaguar, or an angry boar? What if a tiny insect bit you and infected you with malaria?

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--Ralph Marston

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