First Rule For Life - Life's Not Fair!
by Brian and Sally Burgess, Forefront Families
Rule 1 for teenagers:
'Life is not fair: get used to it!'
~ Charles J. Sykes author of Rules for Life
This is the first story Sally and I will write based on a series of 10 life rules written by Charles Sykes and referred to by Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire. We have read extensively and have lived a long time, but neither of us have ever seen or discovered that life is fair. Nowhere. Not even in the Bible. In fact, in the New Testament it tells us, "In this life you will have troubles."
People without a strong faith and those unfamiliar with the Bible often say, "If God is a God of love, then why do babies die or good people get cancer, while those who do wrong live on unscathed? Plainly, it's a result of original sin. Bad things do happen to good people. You can read about it in the first few chapters of Genesis. Then you might say, "That's not fair!" You're right. It's not fair. But that is life, so let's understand it and move on.
We often hear our kids saying that things are 'not fair', usually in relation to having to do some work around the house, or not being able to do something another sibling has been allowed to do. We said it as children. You said it. It's going to be said again.
You don't have to wait until the next time you hear the expression, "That's not fair!" echoing through your house. Instead, in an appropriate moment when your children are in a receptive mode, have a discussion about fairness. Use words that are appropriate to your children's ages and understanding. Start by answering their questions by saying, "You think it is not fair that you have to do chores around the house when your friends don't have to do anything."
An answer: "We are teaching you that in the real world nobody is going to do everything for you. Life has its fun times and its work times. It's mainly work, so get used to it. It is unfair that your friends' parents are not preparing their children for real life! Nobody is going to want the person they marry to be lazy, or unable to do some of the chores that are necessary to run a good home. It's not fair that one person has to do far more work than the other because that person was not properly trained by their parents."
Secondly, You say, "It's not fair that we have to do so many chores." An answer: It's not fair that parents have to do most of the work around the house as well as work to keep us all fed, safe and comfortable. We know that the work has to be done to run a smooth home and provide the love, support and environment that will help you in your development. When we all share the load, you learn new tasks and we have more time to do fun things together.
Thirdly, You may say, "It's not fair that some people don't have to study hard to get good grades at school while others have to." An answer: "We are all born with different levels of intelligence and opportunity. What we expect of you is to do the very best you can with what you have been given. That's all. You cannot do any better than your best and that is all we expect of you."
Fourthly, "It's not fair that some people have got more money, nicer homes, flasher cars and are able to travel more than us." An answer: "These things come from getting the best education possible, working very hard, making wise choices, taking risks and seeing opportunities around you. There are some people that are fortunate enough to be helped in life by being given financial help from their hard-working parents or by receiving an inheritance. However, most of us don't have that opportunity, so it means working hard. That's why we are training you to be skilled in many things that will make your life better."
Lastly, You may say, "It is not fair that some people will be going to Heaven and the others to Hell." An answer: "God loves us all, but He has given us a choice either to follow the way He showed us through Jesus, or to ignore Him. If we live our own way and not accept the gift of life He offers, then we have made our choice and have to accept the consequences."
If you have any comments or questions on this subject, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to also check out our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blog site at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com for further assistance.