“Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand, Uh-it ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, Lord, Lord, It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, Lord” John Fogerty
“That’s not fair!” It’s something I’ve heard children say many times. Built inside is some righteousness that instructs us that everybody should be treated the same. But life isn’t fair, not by a long shot.
Fairness is of course very relative to the situation. Somebody can complain that it’s not fair that their sibling got the last porkchop for dinner. Somebody else can complain that it’s not fair that they are going to bed hungry while others have excess food.
To get along in life one must accept this concept that life isn’t fair and deal with it. If we get bogged down in the idea that we are owed something, even the same as others get, it will be a hindrance. I am by no means suggesting that we all shouldn’t be equal. In an ideal world, we would all be treated the same. But this world is far from ideal.
For example, in the United States, there is institutionalized racism. I once read a book about the death penalty that broke things down mathematically. They took everything into consideration. Nature of crime, economics, jurisdiction, etc, etc. In the end, they did a statistical analysis regarding those who received the death penalty for their crime. The results were not surprising if one was of darker skin color they were more likely to get executed. Not surprising should I say at least to certain communities. There are some who feel that racism is a thing of the past. In fact, there are some who feel that reverse racism is in place. But an honest look at the numbers will shatter that perception. If you want to prove institutionalized racism exists look at the numbers of who is in jail and look at the incomes of various peoples.
So what is one to do, look at the world, throw their hands up into the air and scream “That’s not fair.” A protest is an effective method of changing things. This worked well during the civil rights movement. The trick here is to understand the problem and not to let it get you down, or better yet, use the negativity out there to motivate you to see. A lot of my ‘African American’ friends insist that they must work harder to achieve the same recognition as their ‘lighter’ counterparts. Having this attitude, of trying to persevere through any negativity thrown at you is a healthy one.
Envy. It is a potent, powerful and destructive. When we look at what somebody else has and lust for what we don’t have it is a bad thing. There is a fine line between desire and lust. Lust entails more of a negative connotation. That lust dominates our mind and motivates us in an unhealthy consuming manner. Desire, however, is a distant goal or a hope. Envy and lust tend to bring out jealousy.
There is something to be said for communal ownership, especially in the United States. After all, these lands are stolen lands and always will be stolen lands as they belong to the indigenous peoples. Whenever I make this argument there is some crackpot who will claim that the indigenous people took these lands away from some other group of people. Whether that is true or not is debatable but it is irrelevant. Might does not make right, but it does give one control.
People often look at poor people getting a pittance from the government and feel that they are parasites sucking dry the system. Personally, I don’t mind helping somebody who is destitute have shelter and food to eat. But on the other end of the spectrum, there is another group called ‘owners.’ These people do absolutely no work but they reap in huge amounts of money. I have heard it said many times that companies can’t pay their workers more because it will cut into their profits. What they are really saying is that those people sitting around doing nothing deserve more money than the people generating the wealth. I find that inherently unfair. And that brings us full circle. Life ain’t fair, learn the lesson.
So should the workers just sit back and suck it up? I am told that the man who owns Amazon or created Amazon is one of the richest men in the world. Also, some of his workers get paid so little that they live in their cars. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that this is a grave injustice. So what should the workers do? Well, they should organize, and form unions, and exert their power and in the end, they should take the means of production and put it into the hands of themselves. That my friends is a revolutionary thought, a remedy to fix this unfair life or a least a start.
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Photos by ralphrepo,