The coldness of Fair

I’m about to let you in on a frightening fact.
Frightening to most because it robs us of a timeless crutch.

I believe life is intrinsically very fair.
Life, as we know it, has no ulterior motives and it is the ultimate arbiter of checks and balances. It will sieve through your every move, every choice and decision, whatever, and compute some instantaneous formulas and spit out a result quicker than you can alter the question.

The answer it spits out?
Why, you.
Your life. As it stands now. This minute, all its conflicts and inconsistencies and voids.
That is the answer.

I thought of this because of a trite Facebook encouragement I read; the sort I hear too often. It’s mindless inspiration recited emptily in order to ease feelings of self-doubt and lack of control. It’s verbal busy work and people re-hash it when they have nothing useful or insightful to offer. In other words, it’s an ubiquitous exaltation making the round in our simple-minded society.

In other words, I don’t have the vaguest idea what to say that might be critically constructive. I have nothing useful to say because none of this is your problem or fault. Your situation, this futile escapade, was forced upon your unwilling hands. Nothing you have done in your life through this point in time, none of your choices or lifestyle decisions, had anything to do with the fact that you are in this rocky position. It’s fate. It’s chance. You’ve been wronged by the cruel hands of fate! Your life sucks but you are exonerated from contributing to its creation. Life is unfair!

Because You Deserve Better.

Yes, you do.
It’s so much easier for me to sit here and lob empty niceties your way which will do nothing to open your eyes or initiate a kernel of truth from flaring to life in that head of yours.

Nope the truth is that fate is horribly FAIR. Fate has no favorites. Well, if it does, it favors those who have their shit in order. It favors those to who resist succumbing to egotistical or sensual short-sighted rewards. Fate doesn’t give a crap if you sabotage your own dreams and aspirations. Fate only cares about what it does best: handing down your sentence. You call it unfair, you say you deserve a better decision.

You Deserve Better is garbage.

It should be restated: you deserve what you get.

This little spot you find yourself mired in?
You created it through the sum of your life’s choices. This is no accident.
You deserve what you get.

This is a distasteful truth for it relinquishes blame on the part of all except the person at the center of this dire situation. You Deserve More essentially falsely assuages your soul and ego by reinforcing your deep need to be cleared of culpability while placing it squarely in the hands of all external elements beyond your control.

Life is very fair. Oppressively fair.

I’m sure if you extend the concept to extreme dogmatic lengths, it’s possible to conclude you are born into this life indebted for decisions you’ve made in previous existences. Of course life offers many rebukes to our complacent expectation of “fairness” but where do we draw the line? If someone contracts lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking, we don’t openly express the undignified and ruthless “he deserved it” sentiment, we merely think it. And of course it’s most likely true. But conversely, if a healthy young person contracts the same disease without ever having lit a cigarette in his life, who do we blame then?
The victim?
Probably not, but this is only because the blame we direct at the smoker is excused and structured by the scientific communal knowledge we have of smoking’s effects. It’s within our realm of comprehension and understanding that smoking leads to lung cancer. It’s a simple life fairness we can put our fingers on.

But what of that oblique and blurry world outside our common knowledge? Do we know it all? Or rather, how much do we not know? Can we know each and every facet of reality which fate gathers in order to pronounce its verdicts? We’re aware of the rudimentary cause and effect world of science…however, beyond that, there is a universe of causation we do not understand.

Is it truly within our ability to recognize when and where and how the lines of culpability and personal responsibility start and end?

Perhaps life’s strains of fairness extend beyond that which we can comprehend with our present knowledge. Fairness can only be easily deduced in some “obvious” instances which reside in our present field of cognitive skill.

Life’s fairness is unfathomable and this is ultimately why it is so frightening. If it were possible for us to account for all blame, the burden would be too great for man.

We cannot account, so we squirm.