I have an irrational and historically disproved belief that Life ought to be fair.
Realistically, it's quite childish to hold onto it as tightly as I do - especially when I'm run down as I am now - and, in my opinion, it is glaring evidence of where my emotional growth is stunted and stalled.
Young Jane: BUT IT ISN'T FAIR!!! [insert tears, stomps, and flailing fists here]
Blind Betsy: Life isn't fair.
Young Jane: But why NOT?! It SHOULD be!
It should be. Yes, it should.
But it's not. And for no good reason as far as I can ascertain.
Never has that been more evident than in the last couple of weeks.
Just in the last two weeks:
- A friend, my age (early 40's), was diagnosed with breast cancer.
- That same day, another friend, of the same vintage, found herself in the cardiac unit with deep vein thrombosis in her legs and in her lungs.
- Another friend was unjustly fired from his job.
- 3 friends openly expressed a deeply seated desire to die.
- A co-worker and friend watched helplessly as her mother succumbed to the ugly final stages of liver disease.
- Naked Jen received the results of two MRIs indicating she had yet another blood clot right smack dab in the middle of her brain.
- I overheard a mother express with appalling venom her literal hatred for her own child.
- I watched the news as the large-scale search for a young, local girl came to a grisly end when her body was found..."not intact". [I'll be re-reading Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones again and crying profusely over it soon.]
- I learned, once again, I wasn't wanted.
That's just the tip of the iceberg.
I've been feeling for several days as though I just wanted to build a bed linen fort and burrow down deep inside it to protect myself from the enormity of the unfairness of the world. My inability to cope with Life when it's most decidedly not playing fair is simply another indication that my belief that Life should be fair is childish. That I'm still childish.
But it wasn't until Cora, in her Cora Kicking Cancer's Ass journal, wrote this morning about how she felt as though she was being punished that I understood just how ridiculous I was for continuing to expect something out of Life that was never going to be.
Life really isn't fair. For no reason. Cancer comes just because. Illness comes just because. Heartbreak comes just because. Death comes just because. Not as punishment but just because Life is not fair.
And I was reminded of a passage that has been largely attributed to Mother Teresa but, in its original form, was actually written by Dr. Kent M. Keith...
The Paradoxical Commandments
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
In other words, Life ain't fair. Live it - to the best of your ability - anyway. And maybe, just maybe, if every single one of us followed these commandments to the letter, Life would be just a little more fair.
10 brownie points to those of you who know why I posted this video with this entry.