Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Not Fair

Gabe is in the "it's not fair" phase of his life (the first of many, I'm sure) Dr. Montessori made a point to mention (more than once, I might add) that when a child hits six or seven, they suddenly have a sense of justice, mostly pertaining to themselves, but eventually pertaining to other people and other situations as well. Once a day or so, Gabriel will tell me something isn't fair. Today it wasn't fair that he had to wear socks with his shoes, it also wasn't fair that he wasn't allowed to sit on his sister. While it's annoying to hear him whine "it's not faaaaair" twenty two thousand times a day about insignificant things, I know it's normal and he will eventually grow out it (at least for a little bit, I expect that around sixteen it will start up again, ha ha)

What I can't deal with is grown people continually lamenting about how unfair something is. We all have things in our lives that aren't particularly "fair" however, at some point you need to quit yer bitchin' as they say and DO something about it and if you chose to do nothing about whatever it is you think is so unfair, then shush your lips. Put up or shut up as they say :)

Here are a few things I've recently heard/seen/experienced people saying weren't "fair":
It's not fair that my spouse is working long hours, I never see them.
It's not fair that I have to be up all night with a new baby.
It's not fair that the neighbors have a new car and we make more money than them and don't have one.
It's not fair that I am not able to go on vacation when so-and-so was able to go.

Really people? REALLY? These things aren't fair? How about some examples of things that REALLY are not fair. It's not fair that 200 people were recently let go by our local Lowe's store with NO notice; it's not fair that a friend of mine is dealing with the reality of having a disabled son and has no real life support system to help her deal with it, it's not fair that some people have no vehicle at all and walk or bike everywhere like many people in our apartment complex do. It's not fair that young men and women are coming home in body bags because they're fighting overseas. It's not fair that small children are dying of cancer. Do you get my point?

There's a newish phrase to describe the pissing and moaning people do about trivial things; it's called "first world problems" and really, let's be realistic; if we're pissing and moaning that we can't get a NEW car or take a vacation, are we really THAT bad off? There are people right in your neighborhood who can't afford a SINGLE car let alone a new one, there are people in your neighborhood who would love a single DAY off of work but can't for fear of not having a job when they get back or losing that income.

To be fair, I'm guilty of complaining about stupid things too; I'm guilty of complaining that things aren't fair; in fact, one time I was complaining loudly to my mother about the fact that it's NOT FAIR that Gabe has a disability (and really, it's not...but bear with me here) My mom, who by the way is a cancer survivor, said "you know Chris, I used to feel that way about my cancer, I used to scream at God 'why me? why me? this isn't FAIR' and one day I just realized, 'why NOT me? SOMEONE has to make up the statistics' and yes, it sucks, but it's life and we deal with it. Yes it sucks that Gabe is disabled, however SOMEONE has to be that number and maybe you didn't plan it that way, but it is what it is and now you deal with it"

And that's kind of been my motto since that day. No it's not fair, but why NOT me? In all reality, our lives are GOOD. Even if we can't buy a second car right now; even if we can't go to the Dells for Labor Day, even if I do NOT see Geo much because of 60 hour work weeks. How can I, in good conscience, complain about these things when there are so many people who are so much worse off?

Geo's grandparents have a quote they shared with us that they love and we've come to love it as well:
"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have." I'm finding that as time goes by, this is truer and truer. Be happy, be grateful, be CONTENT, you'll be much richer for it...and there's NOTHING unfair about that!

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