Life isn’t fair. Far less fair to some than others, but unfortunately, none of us escape pain. None of us escape loss. Every one of us will know tragedy in our lives. Many of us experience this early on when we are far too young and helpless to control any of the variables around it. Many of us will know that there was nothing to be done. Many of us, when something could be done, will be failed by the people we thought we could count on, or even be betrayed by them. Many of us will be cheated by someone, or by fate. We will all be angry – and we will all deserve to be.
It is so tempting, when we look at the hand we have been dealt, to let that anger turn into entitlement. We look at what perceive to be a worthless handful of cards and feel like we are righteous in our fury. We feel as though we deserved, or deserve right in this moment, better and that the world and the people in it need to straighten up and start acting right. We create an ideal of what is right and what isn’t, what we think we have the right to in our existence and anything that falls outside of those parameters is unforgivable and wrath-worthy.
It’s understandable. I can imagine some of you reading the text above and thinking “Uhhmm… absolutely that is how I feel!” Believe me, I get it. But, I wonder… how useful this mindset has been in delivering the reality you believe you deserve? How often has fury and entitlement actually delivered the kindness, closure or luck you believe is owed to you? I’m sure there have been times it delivered what you wanted immediately, or part of it. But, if you’re anything like me, that is about the extent of it.
Being angry that people could be so cruel or hateful to me, didn’t stop my teachers from insisting I would burn in hell because I was Jewish out-loud in front of my classmates. Being righteous didn’t stop people from yelling “DYKE!” at me and my girlfriend walking hand and hand in the mall. Being distraught that I had trouble learning and reading because of some of the symptoms of PTSD that I developed after witnessing the horrors of domestic violence as a child, didn’t get me into graduate school.
Life isn’t fair. No one is going to give you prosperity. You have to take it for yourself – and believe it or not, it helps to be kind along the way. You need stop ogling at the 2s and 3s in your hand. Take a look at the Jack, Queen or King in your cards. Chances are there are more than you realize, you may even have an Ace in there. Or maybe you need to fold this round and wait for more cards to roll in by chance. Maybe you have an excellent poker face? Maybe you have a way with words that trick your opponents into thinking your hand isn’t what it looks like currently. As many weaknesses as you think you have. As much worth as you perceive you have or don’t. It is far more likely that you have gifts and potential to grow them into variables that you can utilize to bring about the life you want. None of us escape misfortune, but, none of us were born without beauty, depth and potential.
Imagine what your life might be like, if you focused all of that energy going into wallowing in your downfalls – into maximizing your gifts. Growing yourself and encouraging people around you to do the same. You may find the game isn’t always won by luck.