Who Said Life Was Going To Be Fair? By Tim Fox

Who Said Life Was Going To Be Fair?

If you want to complain about how tough your life has been then save your breath, you’re talking to the wrong guy.

An impoverished, difficult and sometimes traumatic childhood, early loss of both parents within a year of each other, nursing my mother through the final stages of cancer at home, seven years caring for a younger mentally handicapped brother, bouts of severe depression, two failed marriages, six years of single parenthood, career success juxtaposed with being fired for disagreements with management and subsequent unemployment , gangrene and the loss of three toes and all this before the mid-life crisis kicked in!

The English language contains many phrases that gives us a clue;

The best laid plans of mice and men
The Devil always poops on the biggest heap (money attracts more money)
Make God laugh…tell him your plans
There’s many a slip betwixt cup and lip
Good guys always come last

My Dad had a phrase that he felt defined things;

“ Some days you are the dog and some days you are the lamp post”

And it was my Mum who first pointed out to me that nobody said life was going to be fair……

More than fifty years later I have adopted a philosophy that makes irrelevant what life decides to do. I have decided to see the funny side of everything.

I well remember one of my former Headteachers (Bert Anderson) at British Forces Edinburg school in Germany in the late eighties.

He was generally a dour and unemotional leader of pragmatic stability and few words, essentially both kind and calm. However, he came alive and always seemed delighted when announcing to the staff some disaster that had befallen the school e.g.

“ The gym is flooded and the ancient oak tree in the courtyard has collapsed and fallen on the dinner hall and staff canteen destroying both….”
“Eleven teachers are absent today and we are hosting ninety pupils from a local Junior school in demonstration Secondary school lessons…oh and this is going to be televised”

He announced such disasters in an elevated, squeaky and almost joyous tone as if telling us he had won the lottery and was retiring with immediate effect.

To my mind Bert had worked out that one of the consequences of disasters was the sudden need to make new decisions and change your perspective from what you thought was going to happen to a new reality……basically he ‘enjoyed’ disasters.

Other English phrases promise hope;

“Every cloud has a silver lining”
“ It’s always darkest just before the dawn”
“God helps those who help themselves”
“Where there’s a will there’s a way”

A positive, “ Glass is half full” outlook is very helpful when coping with the unfair things that happen to you and the Chinese contention that, “Disaster always brings opportunities” is worth considering….I cannot remember which one of my parents said this but it has always held true for me…..and it is that………….

“No matter how terrible things are for you, there is always someone who has more problems than you and don’t worry, things can always get worse!”

How sadly true that is.

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