Parikshit was a class-mate from my engineering days. We were not friends, he was just another kid, incidentally in my class. He was not popular too; a thin boy with wheatish complexion, unkempt hair and formal attire, he was one of those who can easily be missed in a crowd.
In our 3rd year, during one of our lectures in the evening, suddenly someone barged into our class and announced that Parikshit met with an accident & his condition was critical.
The whole department rushed to the hospital, including me and my friends. There was a commotion and nobody knew what was going on. Late evening, it was announced that Parikshit had succumbed to his injuries.
The cremation happened at night & we were all present to offer our condolences. The sight of his mother wailing haunted even the coldest of us for a few days.
I learnt that Parikshit was the only child to a lower middle-class family with economic constraints. You know what was worse: the way Parikshit died; he was wearing a helmet riding his bike at around 30-40 Kmph when a truck driver from the opposite lane lost control, drove over the minimal divider and crushed him under its tires.
If you still don’t believe that life’s unfair, stop reading and be happy in your delusional world.
Life’s unfair. And the sooner you realize it, the better.
But there’s a bigger fact that’s even harder to realize: The problem isn’t that life is unfair, it surely is. Most of us know it already.
The problem is with your perception of fairness.
So let’s see how your idea of fairness is broken
1. Your idea of yourself doesn’t mean anything to the world
You may feel that you’re the ‘most empathetic person’, ‘very caring spouse, ‘a hardworking single mother’, ‘a generous human being’, but the reality is that people judge you by your actions and not by your perception of yourself. You may be the most creative person to yourself, but unless people get to see your creations, your self-evaluation (which is often being the best in the world) holds zero value.
2. Self-interest clouds our judgement of fair and unfair
So your boss didn’t promote you while a less deserving colleague got better ratings? So you expressed your feeling to this girl and she bluntly refused to be part of ‘your’ love story? Sounds unfair? Probably not. Because the universe is not serving any cosmic judgement.
Maybe your boss has some insights you overlooked, maybe your crush decided to choose between millions of other ‘options’ who might be a better partner. Or maybe you’re simply thinking about yourself. Think of your colleague who got promoted. In his opinion, life is perfectly fair towards him in this event. How can the same event be both fair and unfair?
3. A fair world is just not possible
Imagine a world where life is fair according to everyone; it’s just not possible. All matches will end in a draw, everyone will get promoted in office, and pigeons will only shit on bad people. Oh wait, who are these bad people? Life would be unfair to them if pigeons shat only on them. So even pigeons can’t poop freely in this Utopian world.
4. Or maybe you’re ignorant
Do you have a college-mate who used to score fewer marks than you did & is now getting a better salary at a bigger company and posts beautiful pics of the Bahamas with her handsome husband? That’s because you never bothered reading the “struggle” chapter from their life book. People are tuned to get drawn towards rags to riches, dropouts to successful entrepreneur instant-gratification-stories; but behind every such seemingly ‘unfair’ incident is a painstakingly powerful story you never hear.
5. Because you think God is the scorekeeper
“Upar wala dekh raha hai”. That’s right. NOT. Your God is not keeping score. Get over that broken idea of fairness already. If you’re an atheist, it’s actually easier to get past this one.
So is this post a pessimistic tale of how unfortunate we all are to be born in this unfair world?
Absolutely not, infact life is full of examples of illiterate, physically-challenged, differently-abled, born to poor families, studying under street lights, yet optimistic people who never complained that life is unfair, but overcame great odds and left a trail of success for others to follow.
This post is about getting real. You may not agree with me, find my language too harsh or even drop a hate-comment for calling out your God. But you know what?
I’m the admin, I will delete your comment.
Life is unfair. IKR 😉
Cover image source Fabio Testi on Flickr