I remember one day coming home from school upset and at the end of my teary recap declaring emphatically “its not fair!” to my mother. This moment will forever remain ingrained in my mind, as it was then that mother shared one of the most important life facts with me. As she gave me a hug to help sooth away my bad day she said “life isn’t fair.”
This was a fact that I also shared with my son when he made a similar declaration.
And its not. Life beats us up, knocks us down and leaves us battered and bruised. It also provides us with moments of pleasure, joy and kindness. No matter what we do, life is a mixed bag of cards and we simply do not know what is being dealt.
Today when speaking with a friend he shared with me that his life was “okay” – not particularly good, just okay. He soon followed up his comment with “but that’s life I think, its normal.”
I found his comment upsetting and was openly frustrated. How horrible to exist in a state of “okay?” I will never pretend to have all the answers or profess to know how to live a life best – but what I can say is that I try. Like most people, I have had to make some difficult decisions. Some faced resistance, disappointment and at times displeasure from the ones I cared for most. Whether or not each decision I made was right or wrong, is irrelevant. But what was most important to me was the fact that I was making a decision to move forward with my life.
And that takes me back to life and how remarkably unfair it can be at times. We learn that devastating fact very young and keep having it reinforced all through life. It can make us scared, uncertain and angry. Not to mention accepting. Its tough to see the unfairness of life strip and eat away at a person's passion for life and replace it with an acceptance of mediocrity.
Its something that I hope my son never does.
Life is unfair. Tough. Demanding. Heartbreaking. It is also filled with incredible joy and happiness – if we are open to it. All in all being happy is hard work. And it takes courage. It means sometimes doing what terrifies you most and making unpopular decisions.
I suppose it all comes down to what sort of life you want - and okay simply isn’t good enough for me.