"Sorry, life isn't fair."
I cannot count the amount of times I have heard that statement from my parents after crying foul over one of life's inequities. Whether it was a rebuttal to "he got more than me!" or "he got picked first!" or even "how come I have to eat my vegetables and he doesn't?" the premise that life wasn't fair was constantly thrown in my face. Today, though, it seems that much of our population has either ignored or forgotten this most important of lessons. I suppose it isn't difficult when our very own president gets on television and tells people that every one should be equal and pay their fair share.
As I grew older, I heard "life isn't fair" less and less. It wasn't because our world was somehow becoming more equitable, though. It was because I stopped complaining about a fact of our society that I could do nothing about. I realized quite early on that complaining about life not being fair wasn't going to net me the big money and fabulous prizes that I was yearning for. The only shot I had at obtaining the things in this life that I wanted was to work for them, and the harder I worked, the more likely it was that I'd be able to afford those finer things. Still, I knew there would always be instances where no matter how hard I worked, I'd lose out. That was exactly what my parents prepared me for when they told me "life's not fair."
Unfortunately, there is a growing sect of our population that expects a fair share of the rewards for doing absolutely nothing. Nearly half of the households in America now participate in some form of government assistance. Now, a percentage of these welfare recipients are probably deserving. No one is claiming that physically handicapped individuals or mentally ill persons do not deserve a helping hand. The citizens who are fully capable of working jobs but have decided, for one reason or another, to live off the system, are the ones making sure that no citizen of this country will ever pay their "fair" share. Just thirty years ago, the amount of the population on the take was less than one-third of the total citizenship of the U.S. -- and let's not beat around the bush, "on the take" is the most accurate way to describe what these people are doing. This administration knows that the more people they have suckling on the government teat, the more votes will inevitably go their way. It doesn't take a genius to realize that if you don't reelect the people giving you free money, you might lose it. It's the unspoken bond between those who pay and those who are paid-off. As more and more people join the cadre of the handout-driven, more money will be needed to sustain the practice. Where does that money come from? Why those of us who are paying our "fair share," of course.
These welfare recipients are not fully to blame, though. It all stems from one of the biggest lies told since the beginning of time. Governments love to say "everyone is equal." Well, here's the man behind the curtain, folks -- we aren't all equal. In fact, we are far from it, thankfully. Long ago, though, a very smart politician figured out that if he equated the word "unequal" to the phrase "better than," he could drum up votes by claiming to fix something that never needed fixing in the first place. Folks, I'm here to tell you that we don't all need to be equal to have a profitable and worthwhile society. In fact, it's probably better for commerce if we aren't' all equal. "Gasp! Did he say we shouldn't be equal?" Yes, I did, and it's because most of the commerce that we all participate in each and every day continues only because inequities exist between you and the keeper of the shop you frequent. Now, mind you, that doesn't mean I'm "not as good as" those people, or that if I died, my friends and relatives would care less. It simply means that as of right now, people like the President and a company CEO play a more important role in the matrix of society. A society we've all agreed to live in, tacitly or otherwise. Unfortunately, as soon as people hear "not equal to," they automatically assume it means "not as important as" or "not as good as."
What we need to do is to stop telling everyone they are equal, and instead tell everyone that while every single citizen is as important as the next, there will always be inequalities in a consumer-driven society such as ours. If you all will remember back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, you might recall a country called the U.S.S.R. Well, that country prided itself on everyone being "equal," and in fact did its best to enforce a policy of wealth sharing. What ended up happening was that most of the populace had to wait in line for an entire day to obtain toilet paper and bread, while the people in charge lived in lavishness that hadn't been seen since the time of the Tzars. Mark my words people, if we keep pushing this policy of equality, one day you will look up and realize you have been waiting in line for an entire day just to get a jug of drinkable water.
Just in case you are reading this and thinking that I've been born with a silver spoon in my mouth and never had to deal with hardship, let me tell you a story. It's a tale of a nine-year-old boy who suddenly came down with a mysterious disease that took years to diagnose and has plagued the child for 25 years now. (He's me, in case you haven't guessed.) Joint replacements, heart attacks, diabetes and many other complications have been my bread and butter for longer than I can remember. It's made life exceptionally difficult, and I've had to overcome more in a year than most of you will experience in a lifetime. This is why it is especially apropos that I be the one to write this article.
So there you have it. Life isn't equal, and it will never be. If it were, then I'd be healthy and probably be composing this piece from my Ferrari-laden yacht with sixty supermodels as my crew. As you might imagine, I don't have those things, nor will I probably ever have them. What I do have, though, is an expert understanding of life's inequities, and an intimate knowledge of the ubiquitous fact that things usually don't go your way. It doesn't bring me down, though, and that's because I know everyone on this planet suffers from some form of inequality, and always will, despite what they are being told. In fact, that inequality is about the only thing we all share in equally.