I treated myself to breakfast today at First Watch. For $3.50 I ate the incredibly light, fluffy pancake with practically a gallon of maple syrup and enjoyed a cup of hot water with lemon. I was a happy woman as I ate the “best ever pancake” and read the NY Times. While I was totally engrossed in a newspaper article about an artist, I was distracted by a child in the next booth who was trying his best to get out of going to his piano lesson.
“Please…Pleeeeeeeease mommy”, the child pleaded. “I hate it, I really hate it. It’s no fun and I don’t care about playing the piano. I just wanna play soccer.”
“You will go to your lesson and you will stop whining this minute!”, the mom retorted sounding confident that her command was going to be followed. She had my full support at this point because I wish I had continued my own piano lessons and I wish I was more firm with my children and their piano lessons. Being able to just sit down at any random piano and play your favorite songs is a phenomenal gift that I do not have, nor do my children. The mom was right, the little boy didn’t know what he didn’t know–he should go to his piano lesson!
But just then, the child uttered a familiar response:
“It’s just not fair!”
And then frankly, the child had my attention. “It’s just not fair.”—I wanted to butt in and tell him he was right, that life isn’t always fair. I wanted to tell him the unfair thing that happened to me recenty but at that moment, my mind was flooded with other unfair things that had occurred around the world, far more unfair than what happened to me. It isn’t fair that the people’s homes were recently destroyed by floods, or that someone’s mind is taken from them leaving them totally dependent on others. It isn’t fair that a spouse is unfaithful, that products are faulty and dangerous. It isn’t fair that a fire took the life of a small child in Tampa last night.
I am not sure if the small boy went to his piano lesson or not, but I am hoping he doesn’t see what really is unfair about life any too soon. Maybe he will luck out and having to go to a piano lesson will be the most unfair thing he experiences for a long time.
To those of us who play life fair, all the time—yes, I mean ALL THE TIME, the “it’s just not fair” thing enters our lives a lot. It doesn’t change things for us, we don’t stop playing fairly, because we couldn’t go through life any other way. We occasionally try to influence someone who is unfair, just a tad, to help them “see the light”, but it is to no avail. They do not see the light, they do not want to see the light, and they continue to be “unfair.”
Women with High SUCCESSTROGEN play fair. It is in their DNA. They don’t cheat, make idle promises, or back off from a deal. They frequently meet up with unfairness as well, but it doesn’t get the better of them because they know they are playing life the right way. Like High SUCCESSTROGEN women, I play fair and it is in my DNA, but unlike them, I do not manage through unfairness as well as they do. I find myself reviewing and reviewing the injustice in my mind, allowing the unfair person more power over me than I wish to give.
As I write today, I am forced to look at my reaction to someone else’s recent unfair behavior. Instead of feeling stuck, I should feel free and go and apply what I learned from the experience to what I already knew and most important to what I will do today. My problem is that I saw this coming. I saw the signs but my Polyanna-like spirit kept me hoping I could change things. Too often when life is unfair to me, it is because I didn’t disallow the unfairness from happening.
I am not sure what happens to the unfair people, but I am very sure what happens to the rest of us to do play fairly. We live well and sleep well and know deep-down inside that the fair way is the right way for us…the only way.
Be fair, and be well.