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  • Clare O'Brien

TO BE FAIR


Sometimes life is not fair

Many years ago I dated a man who used the expression “to be fair” over and over and over again. We had a total of two dates! Ironically his behaviour turned out to be anything but fair.


Since this experience, I admit to being sensitive every time I hear the expression.


It’s not unusual for the topic of fairness to come up in the counselling room. A sense of injustice is often felt by clients whether this be in the workplace, relationships or life in general.


Most of us strive to maintain a sense of fairness in our lives. At work we want the shifts patterns to be allocated fairly. We are hearing more and more about the gender pay gap. We want fairness in allocating salaries. Fairness is the reason people in pubs drink in rounds or contribute to a kitty.


Children are all about fairness. Who has the most sweets? Whose turn is it to play on the PlayStation? Whose turn is it to sit in the front seat of the car? Many a child has been brought to tears when they perceive something as being unfair.


We teach children to be fair and as a result we expect others and life to be fair. Especially if we have played by this rule, therefore it comes as a big shock to discover:


· Life is not fair!

· Life has never been fair!

· Life will never be fair!


We have all felt the unfairness of life in one way or another. No matter how hard we try life keeps being unfair. Ironically (again) we keep expecting it to be fair and feel hurt when it’s not.


What can we do about this? Not a lot is my answer. It’s easy to feel discouraged. This is one reason why we all have to develop our resilience, our ability to bounce back from the blows life is going to throw.


Interestingly even though I know life is unfair it’s not going to stop me striving to live my life fairly. Although I doubt you will ever hear me use the expression “to be fair”.


· Try not to be too downhearted when you next experience unfairness in your life.

· Take the blow and rise again.

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