How many times have you thought to yourself “It’s not fair!”? How often do we talk about what is fair and what isn’t?
I HATE the word fair. Hate it. It is a stupid word for a condition that rarely exists. Things are rarely, if ever, fair. What does fair even mean? Google says “in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.” “Just” is listed as a synonym.
Fair can be pretty easy at times. Like when you are splitting a Kit Kat bar. These 2 pieces are for you and these 2 pieces are for me. Fair and square. Easy.
Unfortunately, the happy feeling we get in this fair situation can lead us astray in everyday life. It leads us to try to find fairness always. Unfortunately it isn’t always black and white and if we don’t have all the information it can lead us to thinking something is fair when it isn’t and that something is unfair when it isn’t.
What in the heck am I even talking about?
Well, as the mom of a son with some level of special needs, I am often a part of the “fair” conversation. Or at least the whispered conversations that go on around me.
“Did you know that Evan gets to play Lego while the other kids do gym? That doesn’t seem to be very fair!”
“Did you see him running around and yelling? He didn’t even get in trouble! That isn’t fair to my child that he makes such a ruckus!”
“I don’t think he is doing the same amount/kind/type of work that all the other kids are. That really isn’t fair!”
Yep. I’ve heard all of these and more. It makes me want to scream and yell and hit. Maybe Evan’s apple didn’t fall very far from my tree. Because you know what? It ISN’T fair.
It isn’t fair that Evan feels out of control, sad and angry at times even though he tries very hard to keep it all in.
It isn’t fair that the intelligence that means he is gifted also leads to frustration because his brain works about 100 times faster than his ability to write.
It isn’t fair that people that don’t know him judge him even though they don’t have any idea what any of us go through in a single day.
It also isn’t fair that I rarely write about this struggle because I’ve been shamed on Facebook about abusing my son’s privacy because this should be kept private like it is something to be ashamed of or something we could fix but don’t.
It isn’t fair that you don’t see the hilarious, loving, smart boy that I love so dearly when you see him having a rough day at school. You only see the behaviour.
It isn’t FAIR.
So next time you hear yourself say “It isn’t fair” ask yourself if you know the other side of the situation. What unfairness are they dealing with? Does the unfairness really matter?
Have a bit of compassion for those with struggles and know that everyone is most likely doing the very best that they can, even if it isn’t fair.