Embracing Unfairness - Creation.begins

Embracing Unfairness

low view of a chess board midgame
Practice makes perfect
8 February 2024
Single sapling poking out of fine sand
Oh, you’re so brave!
22 February 2024
low view of a chess board midgame
Practice makes perfect
8 February 2024
Single sapling poking out of fine sand
Oh, you’re so brave!
22 February 2024

Embracing Unfairness11 min read

Life’s journey is a dynamic voyage, often shaped by the unpredictable currents of the Universe’s natural inequality. Instead of viewing these challenges as hindrances, let’s explore the perspective that unfairness can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth and empowerment. Navigating the seas of life’s inequities can lead to a heightened focus on individual strengths, fostering resilience and self-determination.

“But, it’s not fair!”

We inevitably hear this said, or think it ourselves, several times a day. There are things happening somewhere on the planet, in the universe, even in your very surroundings that seem unfair. We feel this way when we see good things happening to bad people or bad things happening to good people, or when we are simply experiencing what we would rather not be experiencing, when life (or any of its minions) consistently prevent us from reaching for the opportunities we’d rather have in our lives, and, worse still, when those people who deserve it even less get the opportunities that we should have. What is up with that?

What is the nature of life’s injustices, and how can we better strategize to reduce the impact of unfairness, as well as navigating these challenging waters in a way that favours us better? Let’s explore.

Life isn’t fair and it never has been

Well, this thing we call life is not a simple adventure. It doesn’t adhere to any script we’re privy to. It can feel like sailing turbulent seas where safe harbour remains elusive. From unexpected setbacks to societal inequalities, there is an inherent unfairness that often colours our experiences. Whether it’s personal struggles, systemic injustices, or random misfortunes, the journey of life is often marked by twists that defy our expectations.

However, “fairness” is a human-made concept based on what we have decided is fair or not. Nowhere in nature is fairness a priority. Fairness does not exist in nature. Survival of the fittest is not about fairness….or maybe it is. What’s more fair than the creatures most adapted to survival surviving?

What’s more fair than those people who are determined to get what they want getting what they want?

“But what if they don’t deserve it?”, you may ask, and therein is the rub. Who are you or anyone to decide what someone deserves or not. Nobody decides that but the person themself. Who decides which animals gets the fed and which ones don’t? Who decides where the hurricanes hit most? Who decides who gets sick and who doesn’t? Some people want to say an imaginary god decides but there’s not enough consistency to declare that anyone or anything really decides who gets or doesn’t get anything.

You decide whether you deserve something or not, and you then live your life in ways that support your decision. When you accept and know that you deserve your wants, you will live your life in a way that ensures you achieve those wants. Look at anyone you consider successful at the things you want to be successful at, and you will find that a vast majority of them are successful because they did what they could to ensure their success. Yes, some may have used and abused other people to get there, and you don’t have to be as evil as they were, but the takeaway is they did what they believed they had to to get to where they wanted to be.

Fairness is applying yourself in whatever way you see fit, and realising the goals you wanted to achieve as a result. At least that’s the way I see it. Fairness doesn’t come from outside you. Life outside you is not fair at all. You have to make life fair specifically for you by being the person who has what you want, if whatever way that looks to you. Let’s delve into how navigating the seas of life’s inequities can lead to a heightened focus on individual strengths, fostering hardiness and self-determination.

top edge of blank notepad on desk surrounded by crumpled sheets of notepad paper

photo by Steve Johnson

Inspired By Unfairness

The impact of life’s unfairness can seem deeply personal. We grapple with feelings of frustration, disappointment, and even anger when faced with situations that seem unjust. Recognise and validate your emotions. Let yourself feel what you feel, but also acknowledge that the journey towards resilience begins with an honest appraisal of those feelings. Feeling like something is unfair often happens when we are aware of opportunities that we want but either can’t take advantage of them or we witness someone else enjoying them. While most people react to this situation with negative emotion and sit in the unfairness vibe, it will serve you better to acknowledge that you’re disappointed, but then commit to being more ready the next time said opportunity comes around.

Resilience is the life jacket that helps us stay afloat in challenging times. Instead of viewing life’s challenges as hindrances, let’s explore the perspective that unfairness can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth and empowerment. Cultivate your own resilience so you can be better prepared by learning how to adapt to adversity. Adapting to adversity simply means being ready and able to change your approach, change your plans, change your mindset, change whatever needs changing, in order to survive and thrive. The more you adapt, the better you will get at it. Learn from your setbacks what you are lacking skill-wise, experience-wise, or maturity-wise. Develop the skills needed, practice more to gain proficiency and experience, live more life and take more chances to gain wisdom, and maintain a positive outlook even in the face of life’s unfairness.

You must take responsibility for your part in the unfairness. If you were ready and able to take advantage of said opportunities, you wouldn’t consider it unfair. But because you can’t take advantage, you might be blaming the universe for being unfair. When you accept that it’s all you, instead of blaming and staying in a state of disappointment or anger, you can change the narrative and adjust and adapt so that you can take better advantage of these opportunities when they come along next time.

You don’t have to do this alone. In fact, it is encourages that you seek and use the support that exists out in the world today. Navigating unfair seas is less daunting when done in the company of supportive, experienced allies. Reach out to your friends, family, or community networks to share experiences, and seek solace and advice. Use profession therapists and coaches to gain better perspective and insight. Connecting with others who understand the struggles  and those who have been through them can provide counsel and a sense of camaraderie.

We have very little direct control over the vast majority of life, but we do have very good control over ourselves. We get to choose how we think and what we think about and where we put our majority focus. Get good at knowing which aspects are beyond your control and which are. Direct energy towards those areas where you do have agency, and make any positive changes that seem appropriate. Use your support team to extend your influence, empowering yourself to take more control over the direction you’re wanting to move in.

Life’s unpredictability will continue to lead to unexpected opportunities for growth and transformation. The more ready and able you are to adapt and change, the easier and quicker you will be able to evaluate and devise different strategies towards your life goals. Embrace change as a natural part of the journey, recognizing that even in the face of unfairness, there may be silver linings and lessons to be learned.

Look, there are a lot of things that are still going to work against you. Beyond individual coping strategies, addressing systemic injustices still requires a huge collective effort. Advocacy, allyship, and a commitment to dismantling discriminatory structures contribute to creating fairer seas for all, and this is the society we are slowly edging towards. By actively participating in movements for equality and justice, individuals can contribute to shaping a more equitable future. While nature is by and large unfair, we humans have decided that we care enough about ourselves and our fellow people that we want more people to experience more fairness, and so we are redesigning and dismantling our systems that don’t contribute to providing a better, more fair experience for the majority of our world.

Painted white on purple graffiti that reads "Everything has beauty but not everyone can see it".

photo by Annie Spratt

Positive Spins

Rather than lamenting the perceived injustices of life, we can choose to see them as motivational sparks that ignite our inner drive. Unfairness becomes the impetus for a deeper exploration of our capabilities and a catalyst for the realization that our true potential lies within.

Experiencing unfairness redirects our attention inward, forcing us to assess our strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions. Every knock we take, every time we fall, every time we wobble, all those situations show us where we can be stronger and more stable. It would only make sense that we use that motivation to then develop our skills and self to be stronger and more able and stable. Instead of relying solely on external factors, we begin to appreciate the power within ourselves to overcome challenges and achieve our goals. This shift in focus encourages a mindset centred on self-reliance, taking more ownership of our destinies.

Rather than waiting for external circumstances to align in our favour, we can now proactively identify opportunities and leverage our unique skills that we’ve been developing. The empowerment derived from self-driven initiatives will propel us towards our goals and we will no longer be a slave to life’s inherent inequities. Life’s unfairness instead serves as a training ground for our resilience. As we navigate through setbacks, we develop the tenacity to persevere in the face of adversity. This resilience becomes a key asset, allowing us to weather storms and emerge stronger on the other side, no matter what.

In fact, on our ongoing journey of self-discovery, life’s unfairness can serve as a guiding compass. Through the challenges we face, we can unearth hidden talents, untapped potentials, and the strength to confront obstacles head-on. The process of self-discovery becomes a beacon illuminating the path to personal fulfilment and achievement, while simultaneously highlighting the obstacles we need to grow bigger than and the skills we need to master.

By embracing the inevitability of unfairness, we acknowledge the unpredictable nature of our life journey. Rather than fearing the unknown, we can now find liberation in the realization that our success is not solely contingent on external factors. The unpredictability becomes an ally, showing us our pitfalls, causing us to foster adaptability and innovation in our pursuit of our goals.

open travel journal with photos clipped to the page and the words "We create from our daily choices. The world consists of billions of realities".

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo

A Catalyst for Empowerment

Unfairness affects us all at different levels. On a personal level, we can adjust our mindset and do what we can to develop ourselves so as to maximise more fair dealings for ourselves. Embracing the notion that unfairness is a positive force redirects our focus from external obstacles to the vast reservoir of potential within ourselves. By viewing challenges as opportunities for self-discovery, empowerment, and resilience-building, we transform life’s inequities into stepping stones toward personal growth and achievement. However, inequality also affects us at societal, community, and relationship levels, too.

Unfairness has been a catalyst for social movements and advocacy throughout our history. Recognizing and addressing systemic injustices becomes a collective responsibility, as we work together to foster more inclusivity and societal change for the better. Our various communities often unite to support one another against unfairness. Acts of solidarity, mutual aid, and community initiatives have arisen as a direct result of inequality, creating a resilient fabric that can often withstand external challenges. We have always known that we stand stronger as a community, but we’ve never, as a people and species, been as inclusive of all humans as we are today.

Even within our individual social groups and relationships, unfairness has prompted us to cultivate more empathy and understanding with the people we care about. We have found time and again that navigating challenges together fosters stronger bonds, encouraging mutual support and growth. As we accept the inherent lack of fairness in nature and our current social systems, we stop blaming the systems and take more initiative in changing them.

Acknowledging the unfairness of life is the first step towards navigating its turbulent seas. By working on ourselves, we can steer our vessels through choppier waters successfully. The impact at societal, community, relationship, and individual levels underscores the interconnectedness of all our journeys. Collectively we are realising our innate capabilities, with life’s challenges ultimately propelling us towards a future shaped by our own determination and self-reliance. Moreover, a collective commitment to fairness can contribute to a world where the tides of injustice are gradually replaced by a more equitable and compassionate sea.

Be inspired to be yourself

The world is a playground, laden with opportunities to experience pretty much whatever we want to experience.

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Embracing Unfairness
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