Life’s Not fair . . . Get Used To It


There’s been a lot talk during the last 20 odd years, mostly by the secular progressive moral relativists among us, about fairness and being fair.  Apparently there is a lot of unfairness in the world.

According to secular progressive moral relativists, all African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, illegal immigrants, women, old people, poor people, and members of the LGBTQ community are being treated unfairly.  The progressives are determined to fix this though.  They will write new laws and use the courts to make sure no one is treated unfairly.  But this is a pipedream.

It Ain’t Fair

Just about everyone has said or heard someone say, ‘hey, that’s not fair,’ and probably more than just once.  Most of us have experienced something that we felt was unfair.  That’s because life isn’t fair.  Ever since Adam and Eve exercised their free will – a gift from God to mankind – and chose to sin, life has not been fair.  They lost mankind’s inheritance of paradise on earth.

Everyone knows that life is not fair.  It’s a universally accepted but unwritten principle.  Let’s call it the Unfairness Principle: Life is not fair.  Get used to it.

Life’s unfairness is pervasive.  It’s evident early on in life.  Some babies sleep through the night and some don’t.  Some babies are happy, while others are colicky.  And some babies gobble down anything that gets put in front of them while others won’t open the hangar for anything except apple sauce.

It’s not fair that some new parents are deprived of sleep while others aren’t.  And it’s not fair that some parents are stuck with picky-eater babies while others are not.  But that’s life.  It’s not fair.

In grade school and high school, the Unfairness Principle becomes even more evident.  Some kids learn to read quickly while others struggle.  Some are so good at math that they astound, while others are lucky if they can learn long to add and subtract.  I ran into one such individual at the pizza place the other day.  I gave her a twenty for my $19.53 bill.  She gave me back 3 pennies, 4 dimes and a quarter.  I nicely told her she had made a mistake and gave her back a penny and two dimes.

Dichotomies Are All Around Us

Some kids are good test takers but others are not.  The good test takers get good grades, but that doesn’t mean the not-good-test-takers are stupid.  But some of them maybe.  IQ measurements help determine an individual’s intelligence, but they don’t measure things like common sense or determination.  Some supposedly smart people don’t seem to have a lick of common sense.  None of this seems right, but that’s life.

Some kids are also over-achievers, while others do only what they need to.  And some kids are under-achievers who grow into underachieving adults regardless of how much motivation is thrown at them.

Some kids are also star athletes while others only make the team because the coach needs a couple extra players in case someone gets hurt.  Similar dichotomies exist when it comes to playing a musical instrument, singing, cheerleading, writing computer code, or dissecting frogs.

Catholic Social Teaching

The bottom line here is that we are all born with different levels of intelligence, abilities, skills, strengths, and weaknesses because we are all different, unique individuals.  This is a fundamental principle of Catholic Social Teaching.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority. (Emphasis added.)

So the Church teaches that society should provide the conditions that allow people to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation.  The Church leaves it up to society to figure out how to do this – how to set up a government, a system of justice, and an economic system that provide the conditions that allow people to obtain what is their due, according to their nature.

The Church does not say that society must make sure that everything is always fair for everyone all of the time.  This is because such an expectation is unreasonable.

We Are Responsible for Ourselves

Where we are born and who our parents are, are just two factors that can play a role in how well we will do in life.  Some kids are fortunate and are born in countries that are democracies.  But many kids are born in countries that are socialistic, communistic, dictatorships, or that just have very corrupt governments.  Children who are born in democracies should have an advantage, all things considered, but children do not get to choose their parents or where they are born.  That’s not fair to kids.  But that’s life.

Some kids start out in life with good, loving parents and have good home lives.  Others have rotten parents – parents who are selfish or immature and who should never have gotten married in the first place.  Some kids are also born to well-off parents while others are born into poverty.  That’s life.  It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.

Children born to well-off, good, loving parents do have an advantage, but some adults are successful in spite of all kinds of childhood disadvantages. Dr. Ben Carson is just one modern example.  Still others end up as bums despite many advantages.  So who we are – our individual psychological makeup – also plays a big role on how successful we will be.

Defining Success

And success itself can be defined in different ways.  For some, unfortunately, success is wealth, fame, power, or respect.  But for good Catholics, being successful should mean simply being good, moral people day in and day out, loving God and neighbor, working hard at a job and, if they are married, having sufficient food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their family.  Being a good husband or wife, and a good parent who raises good, moral children who become good moral adults who love God above all else is a truer measure of success.

But even if we are successful, no matter how it is defined, life can still throw us a curve, a slider or even a beanball.  An accident, illness, corporate downsizing, a natural disaster, or an economic recession – a cross to bear – can happen at any time.  So being smart and successful and doing everything right is not a guarantee of anything.  Life can still whack you upside the head.  That’s because life is not fair.

Perhaps what is most annoying though is that there are some people who seem to do a lot of things wrong and still end up on top.  Sometimes coworkers who are jerks get promoted and sometimes idiots win the lottery or get elected to office.  This is the Unfairness Principle again.  Life’s just is not fair.  Get over it.  Accept it.

Government Can’t Legislate Fairness

As evident as the Unfairness Principle should be, today’s secular progressive moral relativists have managed to convince people that “government” can make life fair for everyone through legislation.

Government and the courts say the secular progressives, are capable of deciding what is moral or immoral.  Religion is not relevant.  Science and the law is all that matters.  Metaphysics is passé.  Legal and illegal, which lawmakers and the courts get to determine, is more important than natural law or moral truths that are based on God’s truths.  But if there are no moral truths then there is nothing wrong with sexual relations out of wedlock, same-sex ‘marriage,’ polygamy, polyamory, abortion, euthanasia, or even bestiality or pedophilia.  Why should 18 be the age of consent?  Why not 12?

The secular progressives say social justice will bring about fairness.  But their version of social justice is socialistic and usually requires solutions that favor some and are blatantly unfair to others.  So while fairness and equality are the goals, achieving those goals actually means enacting laws that are unfair.  Trying to mandate that a baker must make a wedding cake to celebrate a wedding that violates his or her religious beliefs is just one example of the secular progressive vision of fairness through legislation.

Life’s Not Fair

As Thomas Sowell has said, “Life, in general, has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.”

So next time you hear a politician saying we have to make things fair or espousing secular “social justice,” run away.  Do not, under any circumstances, vote for that person.

We are all imperfect human beings, living in an imperfect world, where ‘fair’ is an unreachable star.  Utopia will never exist here on earth, in the City of Man.  Fairness is only found in heaven – the City of God.  Accept it.  Learn to deal with it.  Life is not fair.  Get used to it.

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3 thoughts on “Life’s Not fair . . . Get Used To It”

  1. Jesus Christ taught:
    “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
    “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
    Would not this world be MORE FAIR if more people more often obeyed those commandments of Jesus Christ?
    Do not those commandments prove that Jesus Christ wants and intends us to make this world MORE FAIR?
    Yes, in this fallen world, in this age in which we await the triumphant final return of Jesus, our own sins, and the sins of other people, will always cause hardships for ourselves and others, and we have no choice but to live with and deal with those hardships. We must carry our cross, as Jesus said.
    But never did Jesus Christ say anything like “Life’s not fair, get used to it.” That’s the cynical, pessimistic, worldly philosophy, so often espoused by the anti-Christian political right-wing. Jesus always called us to a higher level, and to set an example that inspires others to a higher level, even if that requires making sacrifices.
    Perfect fairness, i.e., perfect justice, ultimately comes in the Judgment of Christ that sends a saintly few to Heaven and the ungodly many to Hell.
    But, even in light of that eternal perspective, never does Jesus Christ command His followers to be indifferent to progress towards greater fairness in this world. That’s the WHOLE reason why Jesus Christ taught:
    “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
    “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
    That’s the whole message and purpose of Catholic Social Teaching. Many other Christian denominations don’t have anything remotely similar to Catholic Social Teaching. That’s why Protestants and Evangelicals are the thought leaders within the political right wing, the members of which are so fervently opposed to any substantial application of Catholic Social Doctrine. The popes and Catholics bishops have for hundreds of years taught in favor of labor unions for all workers, a minimum wage, health insurance for all workers and their dependents, social security retirement for old age, overtime wage laws, anti-child labor laws, laws against racial and other unjust discrimination in hiring and promotions–all laws that are opposed by many or most of the politicians of the political right wing.

  2. Gene-Great! article. One church father says it is truly an insult to God to even think about asking Him, “Why?” It has taken me some decades, but I have come to realize God is way smarter, way more loving, and a much better long-range planner than I am. Then of course you have in some ways echoed that universal truth from The Princess Bride: “Life is pain, higness. Anyone who says differently is seliing something.” Your next piece: “Now why would democrats, totalitarians etc. tell folks they will make it all fair for all of us? Guy McClung, Texas

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