Saturday, May 14, 2011

The State Unfairness

By Julie Rahm
In the American culture, tremendous effort is expended to make everything fair and even. Fairness is a construct of most thoughtfully engineered man made systems. There are rules for sporting events to make the competition fair. Instant Replay has invaded sports to make sure officiating is fair and errorless. Promotion systems in the workplace are constructed to be as fair as possible. Even warfare has the Geneva Convention to make armed conflict as fair as possible. However, fairness is a man made concept not a natural one. Our lives operate in the natural world and they unfold in a natural system. And, in nature, things are not “fair”. Nature has no regard for fairness. Sometimes even the fastest animal gets eaten at the watering hole. The wildebeest and lions don’t have arguments about fairness.

When dealt an injustice, our daughters will complain, “That’s not fair”. And, without fail, my husband responds, “Life is not fair. The fair come once a year to Raleigh.” He knows there is no fairness guarantee on the back of anyone’s birth certificate.

Injustices are placed in our path as opportunities to learn and overcome. Obstacles in our lives create resistance and without resistance, there would be no character development. Obstacles provide the opportunity to develop your character and become the person you were born to be.

Brianna Carp was a recent guest on my radio show. Her book, The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness, is fast becoming a bestseller. She was “unfairly” laid off from her well paying job in Orange County, California. Homeless, Brianna ended up living in a trailer, without hook-ups, in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Now, she is financially recovered and “back on her feet”. Her story is a remarkable example of the emotional resilience required to overcome “unfairness”. She didn’t stay focused on her plight. She took an inventory of her assets, made and executed a plan, and continued to look forward.

As another example, Norris, a lumber buyer for a hardware franchise, made big money for his company in his rookie year. Profit he created was the basis of his annual bonus. He delighted in imagining how he would spend the money he earned. However, the company called his success “rookie luck” and did not pay the bonus he was owed. A competing franchise heard the news and hired him. He created big profits for that company and quickly became a vice president. Norris’ set back was a set up for his continued success.

If you’ve received a dose of unfairness, perform an assessment of your situation. Use my floral tools metaphorically to restore your emotional resilience. Keep your emotional level balanced and use the pliers to pluck out any negative thoughts. Hammer a plan together and use the measuring tape to assess your forward progress!

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