Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U is Unfair

There were so many other things I wanted to share today.
But I just can't.

Today is U.
It's Unfair.

And I don't like that word.  Not one bit.  Because of how...  unfair...  it is.

But nothing is fair.  Not even when we're being fair.  We learn early on as kids how to proclaim the injustices of the world.  We know, it seems, from birth what is fair and what is not.  But do we?  At our youngest years the word FAIR seems to mean an appearance of equality.  For instance, if we both get a chocolate bar and I eat mine right away and you save yours to lord over me later...  I'll say "that's not fair!" because you have chocolate and I don't.

And in my heart, my cute little four year old heart, I know I'm right.

Or in our teens, when we go through the lunch line and the kid ahead of us gets the coveted center square of pizza with all that centrally located cheese and extra meat; and I end up getting the corner piece that's half dry-bread and half burned protein.  I'll say "that's not fair!" because the other kid got a juicier deal than me out of sheer luck.

And in my heart, my gangly and hormone-addled and fully teenaged mind, I'll know I'm right.

Or as grownups.  When someone decides that it'll be fun to go out and hurt people.  And the person sitting next to us gets shot to death.  Or the person running behind us gets her eardrums blasted to pieces.  Or the soldier driving next to us gets his leg blown up.  Or the small mourning family in an unpronounceable town gets immolated at the funeral because three of their uncles have ideas that differ from the neighboring government.  I'll say "that's...  "  but the words don't come.  Because the words no longer mean what they used to.

Even though they do, now more than ever.  I was born.  I lived.  That moment right there is not fair.  I was fed and educated.  It's not fair.  I have a job and a car and a spouse and a cat and plumbing and a safe place to sleep at night.  It's not fair.  I have the same ten little fingers and ten little toes I was born with.

It's so unfair.

I'm actually writing this in the wake of the Boston murders.  Margaret Thatcher was buried.  And a lot of other people died brutally in other places in my country and in yours and in countries that either of us would have a hard time finding on maps.

It's unfair.  It's unfair that cruel things happen to small children.  It's unfair that we suffer losses in what appears to be a desperately unequal distribution.  It's unfair that we must ask ourselves "WHY" a thing happens.

It's unfair.  And I hate that with the fury and heat of a thousand suns.

Saying "that's not fair" carves into stone these kinds of injustices about which there is precious little to be done.  And in the same breath I am so vividly aware of my own luck and my own unfair advantages and my own 'blessings' (if you will).  It is the same breath that reminds me that in Boston there were so, so many people who were literally RIGHT THERE to administer immediate first aid (from tourniquets to hugs).  It is the same breath that reminds me that there is SO much we can do... so much more than just being angry.  Always.

And that's why I don't like "unfair".  It is a death sentence.  It says "this is the way it is".

And I don't like that.  Because this may be the way things are, but it isn't the way things have to be.  And by the gods, I will live every last day of my very lucky life trying to be that change I want to see in the world.  I don't have to throw money at every bleeding heart and neither do I have to take up a campaign of saving the world by killing everyone.  There is a happy medium out there for which I will always strive with my whole everything; because I have to.  The world is too unbearably complicated if I don't.

But, in it's own way, that's unfair too.
And that's okay.  In my own way, I know I'm right.

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