Another aspect of “It’s not fair”-ness is the sense of entitlement so many people seem to have. Their idea of life being ‘fair’ is when they get what they want – and it’s ‘fairer’ still if they don’t have to make much effort to get it. These are the individuals who, when calamity strikes, ask “Why me?”. Well, if not you, then who?
Focusing on the perceived unfairness of how life treats us is a negative, damaging philosophy. Believing somebody else deserves bad luck more or doesn’t deserve good luck as much as we do is tantamount to saying we are inherently better and more important than the other person and that is a very dangerous belief to hold. It’s a position that in Transactional Analysis is known as I’m OK, You’re Not OK and, if you have a tendency to think this way, I urge you to examine where it comes from and to balance it up so that you can embrace the healthy ideal of I’m OK, You’re OK. (You can read more about all this here.)
Worrying about life being unfair is, if nothing else, a waste of energy – energy we could be using to improve our lot. If we put as much effort into making things happen as we do into complaining about how difficult it is and that fact that Bob and Tina were given it for free, we’d make a great deal more progress. To consider life should be fairer and our ride should be easier is to deny our own power to overcome adversity. It’s putting the locus of control outside ourselves (see Do we make our own luck?)
Accepting that life can be hard, frustrating and, yes, unfair liberates us for more productive and uplifting thinking. What other people have and achieve is actually pretty irrelevant to what we ourselves have and achieve. As I said last week, good luck and happiness are not finite, we are not competing for them; our effort is directed towards what we want and we’ll get it more quickly if we’re not distracted by what others are doing. Let them enjoy their success, as we will ours.