It’s not fair, oh no, it’s not fair…

Not fair

It’s not fair that I get to attend a Destination Wedding

in some fair southern city adorned with white sandy beaches

and you must sit home at the daily drudge, 40 hour work week

closer to retirement, no extra cash at week’s end.

It’s not fair that the doctor told her softly on the phone this week

“You have lymphoma.”

It’s not fair that he sports two good knees, hiking endless miles,

while she sits at home, wheelchair-bound.

It’s not fair that wealthy yachters tip champagne glasses toward Bimini

and buy four mansions.

It’s not fair that he starves in Rwanda, thin bones against dirt,

rampaged by AIDS.

It’s not fair you live in a country where speaking opinion rots you in prison.

It’s not fair, is it, that your politician didn’t win, that you missed the

lottery, that it’s not snowing yet?

Or perhaps you think it’s not fair that it’s snowing sideways and

you must travel on icy road to that doctor who will or won’t tell you

what you do or don’t want to hear.

It’s not fair, you must agree, that she has all the talent, grows the best tomatoes, weighs 130 pounds.

It’s not fair that more readers visit his blog, that he sports one million hits, oh no, it’s not fair, while she writes wonderful posts with only twenty visitors a day.

Life is not fair.

Tangled ice fishing wire

The haves and have-nots dance around each other, an eternal dance,

a tug-of-war, a roller-coaster of ups and downs.

If you’re up you worry you’ll lose it.

If you’re down you fuss it can’t be found.

“Life’s not fair,” you whisper to your child, crying broken-hearted because

he lost the ballgame, the girl said no, he flunked his algebra quiz.

You want it to be fair.

We’ve all bemoaned fate, frowned, compared, featured inner temper tantrums insisting upon equality, more dessert, less pain, trips to Antarctica, how about that Declaration of Independence?

You want everyone to get an equal slice of the pie, the cake, the joy!

You want everyone to eat enough, sing enough, travel enough, dance enough, shine with exuberant health.

Oh how you want this!

It’s not fair, oh no, it’s not fair…

yet in your deepest heart you dream this impossible dream

and try to reach deeper to share your gifts, your talent, your luck,

your pocketbook–here’s twenty bucks, make that a hundred–

if only life would listen to your plea,

if only that hungry child in Brooklyn would  please please please

quit crying right now.

Let me in, oh heart

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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55 Responses to It’s not fair, oh no, it’s not fair…

  1. ceceliafutch says:

    Wow! One of the most powerful blogs I’ve read in quite some time. If I can figure out how to do it, I would like to reblog this on my site, and of course give you the credit. This is worthy of printing out and passing around to everyone I know. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  2. Celeste says:

    Life isn’t fair, it is true. I have found that by expecting this rather than being angered by it, I can remain more peaceful and compassionate. Not easy. I have had my share of “why me?” moments (or years, sometimes). Do I try to be fair in my dealings with others? Sure. Of course. But I am gradually losing the need for them and life to be fair back to me. Thanks for a lovely post, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Accepting this can be a wonderful gift, a movement into peace. It takes people a long time sometimes to accept–I honor you, Celeste, for your willingness. I want to be more willing, too, day after day.

  3. Pingback: A Post You Must Read! | Inspired Vision

  4. Sybil says:

    Oh Kathy, you are so wise.

    Here in Nova Scotia, as a way of commiserating, we say “What a sin! ”

    What a sin, that child died. What a sin, you stubbed your toe. What a sin, you didn’t go to a destination wedding.

    What a sin, that the three above statements are given merit.

  5. Sybil says:

    Kathy, I left out the word “equal” … What a sin, that the three above statements are given EQUAL merit.

  6. Brenda Hardie says:

    Powerful words that we can all relate to….life can be so unfair, this is true. How we “live” with that unfairness is key. Gently allowing everything to be as it is can help us to be less miserable. Easier said than done for sure. We are often guests are our own pity parties. Me included. It’s good for us to, once in awhile, realize that life is bigger than the unfairness…that there are abundant blessings all around us! We just need new eyes to see them. And when we focus on the joy of those blessings, the unfairness of life seems much less powerful. Treasure and celebrate the blessings in your life and we will celebrate alongside you! ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Gently allowing…oh, yes, what a gift! While easier said than done, it offers so much. Shall we choose to focus on the abundance? Our blessings, how they may come? I focus with you, dear Brenda…

  7. One wants everyone to be as happy, as blessed as one is… but it can never be so in this life. Acceptance is difficult…

    • Kathy says:

      Indeed, life doesn’t seem to offer equality. How do we accept this? I wonder so often…how do we fully accept what seems unfair…even though it might not be so.

  8. Powerful words. One could analyze for years and still not reach the bottom of this conundrum
    Thank you Ceceliafutch for bringing this blog to our attention..

    • Kathy says:

      I am so happy Cecilia sent this blog singing out further in the world! There IS no end to this conundrum, aren’t you right? I am also happy to meet you, purple borough.

  9. Yep. Life is not fair. People often ask themselves: “Why me?”
    Well… why not?

    • Kathy says:

      Excellent question! Excellent answer! Will we ever know? Can we only remain aware, without ignoring this powerful presence in our lives? Thank you for visiting my blog, Cardinal.

  10. Dawn says:

    We are left with making the best of the talents and circumstances dealt us. Thought provoking post, thanks.

  11. Wonderful! My hat is off to you Miss Kathy.

  12. Susan D. says:

    You really did “say it all” … I laughed, I cried, I identified. What more could one want?

  13. Carol says:

    You made me think – how do I feel about the unfairness? I think I don’t think about it often, except when I read about children who have nothing and think about those who are so wealthy they couldn’t possibly spend it all. I do not understand. I am thankful that those that can provide help, that they reach out to try to make things better.

    • Kathy says:

      Sometimes we don’t think about it…other times we reach deep into our pocketbooks. I wonder if we should think about it more, or simply be grateful for the richness in our own lives? There are no easy answers here. I have no answers…

  14. Colleen says:

    ……let me in, oh heart.

    Maybe this says it all. What a beautiful post Kathy.

  15. Kathy, I just love you for posts like this! Such wisdom. Such great writing. You are dear, my friend—————

  16. kanniduba says:

    In my training to become a Special Education teacher, my professors saw to it that our concepts of “fairness” were turned on their heads. We were made to understand that our students came to us with various disabilities and challenges be they physical, learning, emotional, or all of the above. Lamenting the fact that life “isn’t fair” for these children did none of us any good. Additionally, it was impressed upon us that the definition of “fair treatment” was a matter of giving each child what they needed, not giving each child the same, for it would be a great disservice to treat them all equally. My definition of “fairness” will never mean “equal” or even “similar.”

    I guess I am comforted by the belief that we are all here for a reason…those reasons are as many and varied as we are. The “whys” can bring me to bafflement, and I will never understand how some atrocities can be….however, I look to my own definition of “fairness” to make sense of it all: we are all given challenges, gifts, pain, troubles, and blessings…not in equal measure, but perhaps in “fairness” we are given what we need for our soul to complete its mission on this Earth.

    Great post…gives me food for thought.

    • Dana says:

      Your *comment* is giving me food for thought! I’m especially provoked (in a good way) by your definition of “fairness” not meaning equal or similar. That’s a beautiful and new-to-me way of thinking about fairness– thank you!

      And Kathy: I personally identified with many aspects of this post, and I love that you wrote it in a way to foster thought and discussion, not to judge or condemn those who sit on either side of that fairness fence. I don’t know how you manage to crank out such profound posts on a regular basis, but I’m grateful for your gift and for the mental and spiritual stimulation you provide! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      To give each child, to give each of us…what we need…what a wonderful way of looking at it, KD (and Dana)! (I have no idea how I pound out these posts, sometimes daily, either. It’s a Mystery. But I am grateful to be a channel for the Universe, so that we can all think and ponder and share…) Nice to see you!

  17. Karma says:

    Thanks for keeping us down to earth, Kathy. There is always someone who has it worse.

    • Kathy says:

      Don’t they ever, Karma? I am glad you appreciate being down to earth, although, gosh, sometimes isn’t it fun to be up in the heavens, too? So appreciate you! And my Camera is still sulking in the corner, wondering when this “writing” spell is going to cease.

  18. Deborah says:


    It is the way the world is structured. Why does this place get all the rain ? Why is that place a desert ? Why is this place covered in ice ? Why is there so much salt in the ocean’s waters ? There are “reasons”; but fair ?, as in the same for each and all (oops, that would be equal, not fair). Fair as in equally “good” or equal opportunities, we aren’t BORN “fair”. And nothing that “we” can do, can “make Life fair”. It’s just the way of Life itself; and the way of the world itself..

    Could we desire “better” ? Of course we can. Can we do, what we can do, to make it better ? Of course we can. Can we all, ever arrive at, “fair” for ALL ? Not possible. It is the way of it.

    You do have the loveliest heart. It shines radiantly.

    • Kathy says:

      I love how you compared this to natural phenomenon, Deb! Oh, this was SO wonderful! Why, why, why? Equality may be impossible…”difference” may be the only opportunity. Thank you for sharing YOUR loveliest radiant heart, sister.

  19. pix & kardz says:

    thank you for sharing this perspective. it actually made me thankful for so many of the ‘unfair’ and ‘undeserved’ blessings i enjoy every day.
    i found my way here thanks to Cecelia’s “Inspired Vision” who not only commented first, but also shared the link at her blog. that was much more than fair of her 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Pix and Kardz! Wasn’t it more than fair of Cecelia? She is my heroine! Like you I am pondering the unfair and undeserved blessings I receive each and every dawning day. You visiting this blog is one blessing…

  20. Dawn says:

    I had a ‘aha’ moment today at work that was a shorter version of this post. Planned on writing about it…might still…might not. We’ll see.

    Thanks for sharing!

  21. Claire says:

    You echo the thoughts of all kind, thinking, caring people who inhabit this earth where ever they are and whatever their circumstances. Be happy for what you have and share gladly with those who have a greater need than you – whether monetry, emotionally, and feel that sharing and caring is an important to making the giver and receiver have felt the benit in so many ways. Really enjoyed this post. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Claire, I am so grateful that we are kind, thinking, caring people. I am so glad that our hearts are bigger than our limitations. I am appreciating, too, that you exist…thank you so much.

  22. Pingback: Why life on earth might be perfectly “fair” « Lake Superior Spirit

  23. What a wonderful post that Cecilia sent my way!
    I can tell you that truly life is not fair but it’s how much time we stand with hands on hips shouting about it’s unfairness that defines us.

    In Rotary Clubs across the world, we recite the 4 way test at every meeting. If you have an issue, you are suppose to run it by the test and ask these questions:\
    Is it the truth?
    Is it fail to all concerned?
    Will it build good will and better friendships?
    Is it beneficial to all concerned?

    If the answer is yes (to most of them) then you have found your answer.

    Thanks for your lovely words!

    • Kathy says:

      MargeKatherine, what a wonderful four questions to consider when there is an issue. You get to move deeper into the issue instead of deciding too hastily or without deep heart/thoughts. I also think you’re right about that hip-shouting business. It sure does tell a lot about us. Thank you (and Cecelia) for your visit to the shores of my little blog.

  24. So much to think about as I read your wonderful post, Kathy. Fairness, I do not think it has ever never been part of this world. Always there have been people or situations we could describe as “unfair”. People who were born on the wrong side of the barrier, so to speak. Children who live in countries plagued by constant wars and who will never enjoy peace nor receive an education such as the one we consider normal. Why they and not me ? If I received so many gifts from life, it is surely for sharing them with others. This is what I have been trying to do for years, in my own small ways. Sometimes right around me, sometimes across borders and bars. I do believe that each of us, in one’s own way, can bring “fairness” in one way or another to someone in need.
    Thank you Kathy. I am grateful for you.

    • Kathy says:

      Isa, thank you for your thoughts. I feel that you are the type of person who does share deeply and widely with others, across borders and bars. I like your idea that each one of us can contribute to bringing fairness into this sometimes tarnished and lopsided world. Blessings, dear friend to you.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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