Life isn’t fair.”

How old were you when you heard that phrase, for the first time? How much did you believe it, then? Do you believe it now?

“Life isn’t fair.” Who told you that? Was it the teacher who couldn’t stop that group of kids from beating you up and tearing you down? Your parents, trying to get out of a promise? Trying to justify their failure to mete out justice? Maybe you were wrong and the situation WAS fair, just not unfair in your favor, or you were demanding something impossible, and whomever was supposed to console you, or explain, or make themselves seem like a reasonable authority, said, instead, “life isn’t fair.”

Whose life? Yours? His? Hers? Those scowling people over there? The life of the ants? Fish? Whose life? And who’s it unfair in favor of, then?

Life isn’t fair. What do you mean? What do you feel when you say it? When you’re the one trying to explain injustice to a child who has no perspective of age to ease the pain, and all you can come up with is “life isn’t fair,” which is like novocaine when you need morphine. You might as well tell the poor kid to suck it up and stop crying, for all the good that does.

“Life isn’t fair.” What do you mean? Are you saying it should be unfair? Are you trying to justify your own tyranny? Your own hypocrisy? Do you not want to open that can of worms? Do you live each day knowing that a call for justice would mean you had to sacrifice something you didn’t deserve but couldn’t live without?

Life isn’t fair. That’s not a comfort, that’s a lament! That’s the daily struggle of billions of people who know their lives are unfair and when they try to do something about it they get struck down, and they have to look at their children and know that however happy they are now, someday they’ll realize just how bad things are, and those smiles will be gone, maybe never to return, assuming they even live long enough to grow old enough to be broken by the world!

Life isn’t fair. Whose life? Who are you speaking for? What are you trying to say?

Why are there tears in your eyes?