I caught myself out last week, saying a sneaky little “It’s Not Fair!!!” It’s easy when I take a somewhat child-like view of ‘everything is against me‘ and so… ‘it’s not fair‘. It’s so easy to slide down that way and to end up feeling completely sorry for myself.
In my family, my second oldest nephew is well known for his “it’s not fair!“. Of course, being the second oldest, and worse still, the middle child, is first on his list of what is ‘not fair‘. There’s sometimes bigger issues at stake for him too. I’ve heard his father (my second oldest brother and a middle child) give Master Thirteen his reasoning for why actually it is fair. It’s something to do with being fair or equitable. Actually it’s lost on me, but then his speech was never for me anyway. Sometimes though, it would be helpful to have someone who would remind me of a better way to look at things than ‘it’s not fair‘. Sometimes it’s too easy to forget.
Last week I went to the doctor after a few weeks of what seemed concerning and slightly weird symptoms. I’m never very good at getting myself to the doctor but googling some of my symptoms left me with the clear instruction to do exactly that. Go to the doctor. Now.
To cut a long story short (I know you don’t have all day), the doctor started using the words ‘likely tumour‘ and began the process referring me to an ENT specialist. As he said, my symptoms were out of his league. I guess at least he was honest. Then again, that ‘T‘ word is a bit like the ‘C‘ (cancer) word. Words we don’t want to hear. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say.
I think I was only in the car park when I began on my ‘it’s not fair‘. Doesn’t it seem like some people go through life with not a problem? No serious illnesses, no big crises, not even huge relationship breakdowns. They just glide through life.
And that’s where I got in my rating of fair. I didn’t need to go any further than mental illnesses and chronic physical illnesses. It seems like it’s one thing after the other. I won’t go through all my other woes. If you’ve been reading you will have an idea of them. If I simply look back at the last five years? Wow! Crisis after crisis. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a quiet patch? A space in which life would just flow easily? Is that too much to ask?
I started to think about what ‘fair‘ actually means. I didn’t get very far. What dictionaries suggested was that “fair was the right way to treat someone, and what they deserve“. But what does that mean? Who gets to decide what is right for my life compared to what is right for say, yours? And even more so, who gets to decide what I deserve? That starts to suggest karma, and I have to admit that I actually don’t believe in karma (I’ll probably be shot down for that one). Karma, in terms of retribution makes no sense to me for the same reason as fair makes no sense. Some people get such a rough deal in suffering when they’re actually very good people, where others just sail through life and are scoundrels. I can’t accept that this is because of what they might or might not have done, or even what they deserve.
So I’m choosing not to say this latest blow at the doctor’s surgery is fair or not fair. It just is. It’s just the next thing that I’m going to go through. It scares the hell out of me but I don’t deserve this any more than anyone else would. It’s not about fair, it’s simply about what is.
In the meantime I just have to wait. The New Zealand Health System is such that I just have to wait my turn to see the specialist. The doctor told me I am likely to get bumped up the waiting list because of what he called the serious nature, but I still have no idea how long that will take. Hopefully not too long as some of the symptoms are getting on my nerves, and I sure can’t claim to being a patient person.
“The world isn’t fair, Calvin.”
“I know Dad, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?”
― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury