Is Life Fair?abracad, · Categories: luck, purpose
Looking around the world, and even our closest environment, there is great diversity among the many individuals sharing the earth plane with us.
We are each born into unique, apparently random, circumstances. Most obviously birth conditions vary enormously in terms of family wealth, not only between so-called developed and 3rd-world nations, but there are also enormous differences within any given nation, or local community.
Our starting conditions vary not only in quantifiable factors such as money, but also in more nebulous ways such as the beliefs and attitudes of our parents, carers and others, such as teachers, who provide our all-important initial role models.
Just as the situation in which we begin life differs vastly, so too do our particular talents and gifts. Some may be born with devastating disability, others with remarkable and seemingly God-given abilities. But even within these extremes we each carry a distinct set of strengths and weaknesses, which are not only different, but equip us to achieve different levels of worldly success.
And, as we progress along the journey of life, so we are faced with further, random, events - 'luck' - which bear no relation to our individual merits. Extreme examples would be picking the winning lottery numbers, or falling victim to a natural disaster or deadly disease, but there are innumerable less severe alternatives between these endpoints that affect our lives on a daily basis.
What we reap frequently bears little relation to what we have sown. All of the above suggest life is unfair, but -
What Does Fair Mean?
The meaning of fairness may seem obvious, for we all carry an internal model of what fair means. But that model of fairness varies between individuals. Who can say which is right?
Organized society tries to enshrine a concept of fairness within the law. But laws vary from one society to another, and even within the same society over time.
Would it be fair to take all the world's wealth and share it equally among all the inhabitants? Does fairness mean everyone start from the same circumstances? Or that we each be given whatever help we need so that our quality of life is equal? Another equally impossible ideal. Though such "ideals" are clearly impossible to implement one could debate their fairness to eternity with no final answer.
Many governments now apply equal opportunity legislation to avoid discrimination on grounds of race, gender, disability, nervous, sexuality etc. Such regulation may go some way to promote fairness, but they cannot overcome the laws of the universe or even the minds of individuals, which are all subject to prejudice - both rational and irrational.
It is thus impossible to provide an absolute definition of fairness. Though it is a question we each have the duty to consider, and we should all attempt to live life in accordance with how we understand what fair is.
Spiritually, life isn't meant to be fair, however the concept is defined. Life is about experience gained from a pathway that is unique for every individual. And that pathway is largely decided before birth, by us.
When we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune it is worth remembering that this lifetime is infinitesimal compared to the entirety of the physical universe, which itself is infinitesimal compared to the greater reality of Spirit. It isn't the trappings of material wealth that we carry into eternity, for these things quickly fade to nothing, but the experience we gain along the way. As such life's seeming unfairness need not discourage us from trying our best, regardless of the hand we've been dealt.
Filed in: luck, purpose