I’ve been known to reflect on conversations. One’s that stand out to me anyhow. A conversation that “stands out” to me probably challenged my thought process, made me pause and dig deeper, brought a fresh perspective, or a solution to a challenge I’d been mulling over. It keeps me questioning, expanding my “world views” and all that goodness. I reflect on conversations that happen around me too. Being a wallflower at times will pay off because if you listen, people will tell you what they really think.
Mind you now, words have meaning and intention to me, so when I say reflect, I mean reflect and not judge.
I realized yesterday, the conversations I have recently reflectied on, all have a common theme. They’ve centered around people talking about how to make things in life “fair.” Fair for others, fair for themselves. And this idea of “fairness” infiltrates everything. Work, workouts, games, competition, social status, productivity, recognition… you name it, people want fairness.
What I find intriguing is not the pursuit of a fair life, but rather people’s definition of “fair.” Or perhaps how they idealise implementing it.
The definition of fair is:
2. without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage. (adv.)
I’ll use an abstract from a specific conversation that comes to mind for why I think people are confused as of late, about what “fair” actually is. Hopefully it will show case, and you’ll understand where I’m going by the end of this, about why I think we need not change our want for fairness in life, but understand the true definition of fair and see perhaps we need adjust our expectations of how we expect fairness to show up.
Some athletes were discussing a local fitness competition and why they chose not to compete in it. Their main reasoning against participating was because there were a handful of athletes significantly better than them who had signed up and they would have to throw down against athletes of a greater caliber and they didn’t stand a chance to win the competition.
Instead of saying they just didn’t want to get their asses handed to them (which is fair, NO ONE loves to lose) they simply offered up the blanket statement that the competition was “unfair” because there were better athletes competing and therefore they wouldn’t participate.
Now I have questions.
How is a 95% chance of not coming in 1st place unfair? (They most likely wouldn’t have come in last either, but no one seems to focus on average. ) (Average, ugh, it’s like you have a disease or something. No one wants to admit to having that…)
In this scenario, everyone is voluntarily signing up, paying the same amount of money, doing the exact same workouts, with the same movement standards, watched by a judge, to see who’s BEST.
The athletes being categorized as the “unfair” component are simply more dominant in their sport. Given no advantage to win other than they’re better at it.
Back to my questions:
What is everyone’s definition of “unfair”?
Why are people obsessed with creating a level playing field?
“Fair” is having the same advantage. Same rules, same weights, same workouts.
Results are not correlated with fairness. Standings are not causation of a level playing field. You win or lose or (honestly, probably, most likely) sit somewhere in the middle because of how you well you played.
Not because of advantages given or taken away from you.
Talent, work ethic, drive, passion, competency, courage, practice, training…. those are what lend to winning results.
Stop wasting time trying to handicap the top to create a level playing field. You want to be at the top and you know the only reason it feels good to be up there is because you worked for it. In order to get to the top you have to LEVEL UP.
Fair and square.
Work on yourself.
If you never acquire the talent or ability to be the best at something then don’t accuse those who are of being a cheat or cry about life being “unfair”. You can only work on you and if you have to admit that you might not be the best in the world at something, fine.
It’s called life.
Those who are better give us a reason to try harder. Be thankful for those who kick your ass because it teaches you there’s more to give, more to work on and towards.
Fairness is having the same shot at the race, not everyone finishing it at the exact same time, holding hands, singing mother fucking kumbaya my lord.
Unfair is crippling the strong so the weak can feel better about their mediocre attempt at winning.
Mediocre is not an insult. It’s what most bring to the table, it means “of moderate quality.” Synonyms include: ordinary, average, middling, middle-of-the-road, undistinguished, indifferent, unexceptional, unexciting, unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, prosaic, lackluster, forgettable, amateur, amateurish.
Which is what the majority of humans will produce in their lifetime. It’s perfectly FAIR to be average.
Now, if average isn’t what you want out of life, fine.
That is another conversation. You are now leaving the world of fairness and about to get into a very unfair, unfamiliar, abnormal life.
You will not become exceptional demanding to live in a world of fairness.
You will have beat yourself in a relentless manner to overcome someone who is running the exact same race as you. And sometimes other people have more time, talent, discipline and knowledge then you do. (You might have to detour and brush up on some things before you get back to it.)
The point is….
Let’s get our vocabulary correct. Average is fair. Life is not about everyone being average nor are they, and therefore, life is not fair. To be good at something takes more than average work and to be exceptional at something will take everything you have and it still may not be enough.
So choose now, do you want fair? Or do you want exceptional?