Day Twenty Seven
“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”
-Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard
This is actually one of the most real and empowering quotes I’ve read, ever. In the context that it is used, it basically says that you can do everything right and still fail. I don’t think that many people get what it actually means to fail.
Life, as a whole, is best viewed if you think of it like a game. Everyone plays their own way. Not everyone plays well with others. Not everyone plays by the rules, either. After all, we are human and our instincts can dominate our decision making just as easily as logic and reason can. Not everyone will think of it like a game, either. That’s okay because some people aren’t as cynical as my personal experience allows me to be.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Life isn’t fair.” Don’t worry, I’ve heard it too. But, I have a hard time agreeing with it because the more I look at things that aren’t “fair,” the more I’ve come to understand them. For example, we think that untimely deaths aren’t fair. Maybe we weren’t ready for them to die. Maybe the circumstances that ultimately lead to their deaths aren’t what they could have been. After all, we expect for anything we come into contact with to have a long and fruitful existence. It’s a subconscious expectation that we have for everything. We want things to happen how we want them.
At first, do we understand that everything happens for a reason and with a deceptive level of intent? As I’ve already mentioned, we want things to happen the way we want them to happen. We don’t think it’s fair because we don’t agree with it. Perhaps, to go as far as say that it defies logic and doesn’t compute. The fact of the matter is that not everything happens the way we want it to and not necessarily even how we think it should.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone would like to get out of something that in which they put into it. It’s only fair, right? We want to reciprocate so there’s a feeling of balance and equality. Being able to find balance and equality would seem conducive to a perpetuating state of intentionality. However, it isn’t in our nature to seek balance and equality. It’s quite rare, actually. Anyone who was spiritual would call it “obedience.” As being one of those types, I’d agree with that assessment. However, I very rarely do what I’m told to do.
It’s part of the human condition to take advantage of situations. You can even go as far to say that it’s a case of social Darwinism. Someone who isn’t high on the social totem pole gets stepped on for the sake of someone trying to climb that ladder. We see it all of the time in business decisions. People hire someone who is not as qualified as the others because they may have status or it may be because this person could be part of diversification. Whatever the reason may be, the bottom line is that we all have unique talents or abilities that allow us to defy logic and give us an advantage over someone who may be ideal for the situation.
It isn’t always pleasant or easy to come to the realization that everyone you may come across has the intention showing you the level of equality that you may imbue them with. There’s nothing wrong with having optimism about someone doing that with you. I’ve just learned to expect that it isn’t always the case. More often than not, people will revert to their most basic instincts and only look out for themselves. That’s okay too. You can’t expect someone to be anything more or less than what they are. It’s a fact of life.
Nothing about life is certain or even safe. Some exercise the idea that everything that happens is part of a grander scheme that is beyond our comprehension and perhaps it is. Some people believe that the world we live in now is simply an exercise in human nature and its futility through the choices we make and adapting to the consequences of those choices.
Risk is a fundamental issue in all things. We risk being taken advantage of and feeling like there wasn’t an equal exchange. We risk being lied to, manipulated, and betrayed. We risk everything for the sake of everything. It’s the nature of the game to offer everything to get everything. But, the nature of man is to take the path of least resistance to the greater reward.
We can’t perceive ourselves as weak when we have doubt or lose faith in something. It’s part of who we are. It’s part of our humanity. Try as we might to try and lessen our risk of failure or being a victim of our own nature, we still hold on to optimism and belief that everything that happens is for a greater purpose. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. However, it hasn’t necessarily stopped me from being a player in the game.
Over time, we all get better at playing. Whether we learn to hone our skills in utilizing our faith through prayer or meditation or we hone our humanity by knowing who is capable of doing what and when they’re capable of doing it. Either way, I’ve learned that everything you get out of it stems from exactly what you put in. How far that submission may take you is heavily influenced by what you believe in and how you practice that belief.
Time has made me a bit of a cynic. I can admit that and I’m actually a lot better for it. Faith can get me so far. But, I’ve also learned that I wouldn’t have gotten here if I hadn’t taken it upon myself. From who that word that may have come from isn’t the issue. The point is that at some point the only real unfairness we may suffer from is how we are unfair to ourselves. We can’t expect each other to be more than who they are because we want them to be. It’s part of the cycle and I’ve come to embrace the notion of things not adding up. It’s implored me to seek answers to my own questions.
To me, being fair isn’t necessarily being equal or giving back what I have been given. Being fair is being granted the opportunity to be who you are. Not who you are in the face of danger or when you’re vulnerable; however, being who you are in your most natural and uninfluential state. It’s part of our humanity to be able to analyze, adapt, and adjust to situations that challenge our identities. But, there’s no growth in being treated unfairly. There’s no reason or purpose in it other than to suppress our natural instincts and abilities to manipulate ambitious agendas.
Life is always fair. Life is a result of the choices we make and offers nothing but an opportunity to address those choices. We, as people, just haven’t learned how to live in it without trying to influence its nature with our own selfish ambition. We, as individuals, have the power to affect change and not oppress our nature in the process. It is hard work and it will take a lot of growing and perhaps an event that places us on the precipice of collapse or extinction, but it is possible to be fair.
It won’t be easy or quick to arrive; but, like the saying goes, “Nothing easy is worth having and anything worth having isn’t easy.” So far, the journey has been long and grueling to be sure. But, the journey isn’t over yet.