Effectively coping with the fact that life isn’t fair depends on our ability to accept the fact.
We are absolutely going to have things happen to us that are not fair.
We are going to experience consequences we do not deserve.
We are going to experience pain we could not prevent, and which we shouldn’t have to endure.
We are going to have people say things about us that are inaccurate.
We are going to have people assume they know what we’re thinking and what motivates us, when they don’t.
We are going to have people respond to us not as we are…but as we exist in their heads.
These aren’t hypotheticals. They are GOING to happen. Many of them have probably already happened to you.
When we are treated unfairly, we often feel very powerless.
We can feel incredibly angry at the basic lack of fairness we are experiencing.
We can feel sad and hopeless at the lack of justice that we’re experiencing.
We can feel incredulous at the untruths that some people are willing to spread, and other people are willing to believe.
All of these emotional reactions can sometimes come together and almost seem to paralyze us.
In order to continue functioning DESPITE all of these potential emotional reactions, we have to be both straightforward and patient with ourselves.
We have to be clear about the fact that we may not get what we deserve.
We have to be clear about the fact that other people may think erroneous things about us indefinitely. Maybe they never will actually change their minds.
We have to be clear about the fact that, even if we KNOW and are COMPLETELY CONFIDENT about the truth, that many people will never hear or accept that truth…despite our best attempts to get it out there.
Does the fact that life is not fair, that we are being treated unfairly, that we are being forced in to positions we SHOULDN’T be forced into, mean that we can’t be effective in any way?
It does not mean that.
The truth is, even in the face of massive injustice, we CAN be effective.
Even if our voice is not being heard by some people…it is being heard by other people.
Even if we cannot directly right the wrongs that are being inflicted upon us…our efforts to work toward justice do have meaning. They do have consequence.
We need to keep speaking our truth.
We need to keep working toward justice— even in a broken, imperfect system and world.
We need to do what we can to give attention and comfort to others who might feel that their voices “don’t matter” in the face of massive injustice.
We need to continue to live our mission as best we can…even if there are people and organizations out there specifically devoted to thwarting our mission and purpose.
We need to work toward institutional and cultural change…which will only happen as people have experiences that change their perspective, change their minds, and open their hearts.
We can help people do all of that…even if just in small ways.
Do not let unfairness knock you off of your game.
The world IS unfair— that’s why it needs you.
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