When I was a kid, I was always concerned with things being "fair". If someone got three cookies, two simply would not suffice and don't even get me started on syncing up the glasses of milk. I never thought it was fair that my baby brother got to stay up later than me, despite the fact that I was eight years older and had school the next day. Even in junior high, I saw the inequity in the circumference of my thigh versus other girl's.
When I started high school, I was the only kid who didn't live in the City. As a result, every phone call I made was long distance and I rarely got to participate in extracurricular activities. I went to a private Catholic High School, so needless to say it wasn't fair I didn't get my own car... or have a shopping budget.
I've had "But, that's not fair!!" moments in my life far into adulthood. Other than today, I don't think I've had one lately, but I think I might just be getting better at disguising them.
Did you catch that? I had one today, but this time, it was a little different than in years gone by.
It's not fair that...
I have four healthy, beautiful children, when some parents struggle with disabilities, disease and loss.
I have a wonderful husband, when some women struggle with being single, being abused or becoming a widow.
I have a home, when so many do not.
I have a good job,when so many better qualified and better educated individuals are struggling to find employment.
I have so many loving family members, when so many struggle with dysfunction, abandonment, abuse and discord.
I have never been imprisoned, when there are so many who are or were for reasons both valid and invalid.
Life is not fair.
John Bradford is credited with the quote "There but for the Grace of God go I." and never before have I better understood that statement in my own life. I have done nothing to earn or deserve the goodness that has infiltrated and inhabited my life. In fact, I have done just the opposite. If my life were based upon receiving my "just desserts", I should have none of it.
So, today, as I made every effort not to weep at a table filled with co-workers celebrating my boss' grandfather's 100th birthday, I was once again confronted with the fact that life is not fair. You see, across from me sat a woman with her son who appeared to be three years. For the fifteen or so minutes that we sat fifteen or so feet apart, it became very obvious that her son was both developmentally and physically disabled. He was so sweet, I wanted to grab him and just hug him, but that would have been weird. I know.
But, I could not weep for her, there was joy and love at that table. I could not have permitted my sadness to tarnish her happy life, though I'm sure that she has shed many a tear. Though, I cannot assume that my life is any more or less fulfilling compared to anyone else's life, I can appreciate the things in my life that are truly extraordinary.
Have you taken an assessment lately on all of the extraordinary things in your life that, to someone else, simply are not fair?
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