Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life Is Not Fair ... Obviously

Well, we've all heard the statement that life is not fair .... usually when whining about some slight, imagined or real. So what is it about some of us that makes us want to see a world that is fair while others love exploiting the fact that it is not? I'm a member of the former group. I so want to follow the 'Golden Rule' and treat others as I would have them treat me. I've tried to live my life that way. I cannot fathom the type of individual that has no compunction about causing emotional or physical harm to others. But, those people exist too. The struggle doesn't seem to be maintaining the type of demeanor we are born with on a day to day basis. It comes easy for me to be polite and friendly ... even to the random grocery store clerk. The challenge though is not to change my behavior in the face of being treated unfairly or rudely by another individual. I guess it is human nature to strike back but, even knowing that, I have usually tried to reason that that type of behavior is more about the other person than it is about me. I taught my children to try to think that way too. This usually works and, after all, most rude interactions are brief and more or less impersonal. Another driver may make an obscene gesture or a store clerk is snippy and we absorb that and move on ... shake it off. So, what happens when we run up against an individual who has made it his or her purpose to make someone else's life miserable? On the face of it, we can rationalize that this individual is obviously miserable in their own skin and must therefore lash out at others. Okay, I get that. But, it doesn't make taking it any easier when I am the one that is being lashed out against. It is frustrating, it is unfair, it is 'crazy-making' and it is something that generally speaking is almost impossible to deal with in our society. Sure one could seek legal recourse .... thus costing oneself a lot of money. How is that fair? Not being the kind of person to sink to the level of such an individual it is even more disconcerting to have to deal with the bad behavior on a regular basis. If I have mentioned to another person a particular scenario that has taken place in my life, it is surprising how many other people have experienced similar situations. Why is it okay for bad behavior to be tolerated in our society? Why is the onus on the person being harrassed or victimized to have to pay for intervention? The simple answer is that 'life is not fair.' Well, great! I don't think that there will be any sea change in my lifetime. In fact, I feel that its likely that the bad behavior of Americans will increase exponentially as we become more and more impersonal with one another due to technological developments. But, I'm going to continue to conduct myself at a level that refuses to treat my fellow man as less than human. And furthermore, I am going to continue to follow the Golden Rule. As for the mean, nasty people of the world ... well, it is my personal belief that they are creating their own hell and that by living their lives in a toxic and destructive way that the main person they will destroy is themselves. I believe in Karma and Karma may be the best equalizer that there ever is.

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