In his eulogy for his brother Robert, Ted Kennedy said of him “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.”
I was a big fan of Bobby Kennedy, perhaps more so than of any other politician in my lifetime. I have always aspired to achieve those same goals Teddy spoke of in his brother’s eulogy, but recently I have begun to challenge my beliefs with something a whole lot simpler.
One of my good friends told me he has always stressed to his children that “life isn’t fair”. He said it was important for them to understand that so they wouldn’t dwell on things that hadn’t gone their way. At first I thought the idea was sheepish, but now I’m beginning to come around to his way of thinking.
In admitting “life isn’t fair” we give ourselves an out, a way to accept that which we either can’t change or that which has a very low probability of change even after a herculean effort. And since “life isn’t fair” applies to everyone, it is fair that “life isn’t fair”-
The older I get the more I realize that things aren’t always going to go the way you’d like. Accepting that takes courage just as trying to right it does. But in the larger scheme of things, “life isn’t fair” helps explain a lot of less than desirable outcomes. It takes the personal out of getting a raw deal and helps expedite the recovery process. (I’m starting to like it-)
I went to arbitration with GM and their Lawyer over the “Lemon Law” and won. I won in small claims court when a house painter failed miserably on my dime. There’s too much to mention, but in short, I was always unwilling to accept that “life isn’t fair” and I had the energy and the time to challenge it.
Bobby Kennedy did not die of natural causes, he was assassinated. I’m not advocating rolling over at the mere hint of a conflict, but I am seeing that those who accept that “life isn’t fair” have an easier time moving on from life’s less than equitable outcomes than those who repeatedly challenge them…