Life Isn’t Fair
One of my least favorite things to hear as a child growing up was “Life isn’t fair” in response to something I was upset about. I remember constantly feeling like that just wasn’t a good excuse. Life should be fair. It should be equitable. It seemed that despite the constant reminder when it came to circumstances concerning me, I was still constantly admonished to be fair to others. I’m glad about it. We should never base our own behavior on the behavior of others.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
While I firmly believe this and act on it in my everyday life, it hasn’t always been easy to do so. During one particularly trying time in my career, I had to deal with people trying to undermine and sabotage me professionally. Despite their behavior, I resolved not to badmouth them to others the way they were badmouthing me. It was a difficult decision because rumors were flying, and I remained silent. However, I knew the truth, and I refused to let the actions of others influence the way I interacted with others.
Stay True To you
Eventually, the truth came out. I didn’t have to spend time clearing my name with colleagues, positioning myself differently, or renouncing those who were viciously lying about me. The proof was in the pudding. I just needed to remain faithful to my convictions.
But, it was hard.
And I was angry.
I thought about this the other day as I watched my daughter on the sidelines cheering on her team. She has spent the entire season cheering them on, hi-fiving them as they came off the court, and yelling words of encouragement despite rarely being played herself. During practice, she has worked her hardest to improve, and she has tremendously. Every day she comes with a great attitude despite the embarrassment of seeing every other person on the team being rotated in except her. We go to every home game and cheer mightily. She’s been played a few minutes in about four games for the whole season. The few times she has played, the entire team cheers loudly for her, and when she is the only one not played, they quietly apologize – they don’t know why either.
If You See Something…
Yesterday, my other daughter was able to attend a game for the first time. She was furious. The unfairness of it all was painfully obvious. She wanted to say something. There is absolutely no reason for her not to be played, she vented as she rattled off point after point detailing the coach’s clearly biased behavior. I understood. We had all wanted to say something – my daughter had begged us not to. I was still upset this morning, remembering her tears from the night before as I drove her to school.
Adversity Doesn’t Build Character – It Reveals It
While she hadn’t forgotten, she had let it go. I told her I was proud of her for not letting her coach’s behavior change how she was with the team. “Why would I do that?” she asked. “They all know it’s not fair; that’s why they are so happy when I get in. The hardest part was thinking it was because I wasn’t any good. But I know I am now. She does too. She works me like a starter in practice – she just doesn’t play me in the games. I’ll have a different coach next year.”
I didn’t have to tell her life wasn’t fair. She’s already experienced that – this season is just the most recent example. But, I am so incredibly proud of her attitude and behavior. She doesn’t slack off. She gives 100% despite knowing she will most likely not play. “I might not play, but I’ll be the best cheered on the sidelines.”
Attitude is everything.
In a world where life is so often unfair – it’s your attitude that can keep you going. My little girl will be successful because her attitude is fantastic. Her work ethic is impressive. That is a lesson in thriving. Everything does not need to be perfect to prevail. The beauty of that kind of attitude is that while she is busy working hard at improving her skills, staying humble, encouraging others, and being a good team player, she is not just getting better as a player – she is getting better as a person. She is learning that other people’s behavior does not and should not affect her own. That is priceless.
Proverbs 11:1-3 The LORD detests dishonest scales, but accurate weights find favor with him. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.