Being Fair in an Unfair World

It’s what I was taught, it is what I have taught my children.  Having values and principles to live by…  Treating others with fairness, being trustworthy, being honorable… all of these attributes are supposed to add up to something, there was an unspoken understanding that you would somehow be rewarded for the hard work it is to sustain such dignity.

Well, here I am… 45 years old… awakening to my purpose and questioning everything. If you’ve read my other posts you’ll see that I am in one of life’s many transitions ~ spending my free time these days in reflection.  Amidst the first weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency and seeing our world turned side ways ~ feeling divided in so many ways ~ I assess my own life.  I honestly question whether I’ve properly prepared my children for what they are entering into.  Could teaching them fairness and goodness really have been a mistake?

Our youngest son is 18, a senior in high school, and preparing for his next phase in life.  He is the captain of his basketball team, the team is doing very well this season (11-3) and they just played their most recent game last night, a tough match.  We are waking up this morning to a devastating loss, we lost to a team that is one of our rivals in the league.  We beat them in our own gym a few weeks back by 20 points and were now meeting them in “their house”. I do not want to make excuses for the loss, I simply want to point out my observations and how sad it makes me feel to reflect on it this morning.

I’ve never used tactics to get ahead.  I have never taught my children to plot and scheme against anyone or anything to win or overachieve. This is where in the world we live in today I open myself up for such hurt and I wonder if I’ve done the same to my children?  The harsh reality, which took me much too long to realize is the world isn’t fair.  We arrived at the game last night to find out they had changed the start time due to a recruiting event the school was having… our boys are then in the visiting locker room for longer than usual and there is excessive banging and screaming on the outer doors and walls… we then enter into the gym, a packed house for their event, and their coach quickly decides to forego the National Anthem… the game began and our kids were already out of rhythm and out of focus ~ they got us off our feet before the game even began.  These are tactics.  Tactics the coaches went to great lengths to scheme and work out long before the athletes went head to head on the floor.  Then there was the questionable referees, don’t get me started. These types of things I have a very hard time understanding and accepting ~ this is a basketball game ~ these are kids ~ I get winning and losing and I am very competitive ~ but competitive on a level playing field ~ I HATE the use of tactics and defrauding a situation to get ahead.  I know, I know… I am in for a world of hurt for feeling this way and thinking others are going to play by the rules… that is honestly my life story.

I grew up thinking everyone was taught like me to be fair and just… that everyone wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if they did something to hurt someone else without saying sorry ~  I know now that that is not at all the case and I am having a difficult time accepting it.  I am so mindful in my days that clearly seeing people doing these types of things to each other, or to me or to my children is extremely disheartening.  It has become a daily occurrence, on our TVs in the media, in the workplace, and now in our schools and on our playgrounds.  I am again in uncharted waters and will work to guide myself and my children through it.

“Not everyday is a good day, live anyway.  Not all you love will love you back, love anyway.  Not everyone will tell you the truth, be honest anyway.  Not all deals are fair, be fair anyway.”