Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Life's not fair" is no excuse

[Originally posted at Slacktivist (page 2)]

"Life's not fair," is no excuse.  I am aware of this fact.  "Life's not fair," should be a call to action.
It should work like this:
Child: That's not fair
Smug adult: Well, life's not fair.
Child: But it should be fair.*  The fact that it's not means that you should endeavor to make things more fair, not use the unfairness of life as an excuse for your own unfairness.  Take responsibility for your own actions for a change.
Somewhat less smug adult: Endeavor?
Child: I have access to a dictionary.
Somewhat less smug adult: But you're eight.
Child: So what?
Adult becoming more smug: You're just repeating something someone said to you.
Child: Would it be any less true if I were?  Besides, where did you get your, 'Life's not fair,' excuse from?  (sarcastic:) Scientific inquiry of your own making?
*adult, with smugness in limbo, is not sure what to say*
* It would later be pointed out to me that this isn't strictly speaking true.  Perhaps the child should say, "But this should be fair," indicating the situation instead of life.  Fairness should be a floor, not a ceiling.  People should never get worse than they deserve but, so long as it doesn't come at the expense of others getting worse than they deserve, people getting better than they deserve is no great injustice.
Also, for context before the above post, I pointed out this quote:
Marcus Cole: I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.
Marcus' approach: to recognize the unfairness of the universe, but not to use it to excuse his own actions (that part is not in the quote, that's from watching Marcus be Marcus) but rather try to be a just and decent person in the face of an unfair universe, seems the best approach.  That life isn't fair is a fact, but that fact is not an excuse.  If anything it is a call to be better people ourselves.  Life isn't fair, so injustice won't solve itself; we have to do it.


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1 comment:

  1. Preach it.

    Also, "smugness in limbo" is greatly amusing to me.