My kids (especially my son) believe that life is not fair. At one point my husband and I were tired of hearing “It’s not fair” that my husband made up a game entitle “The Fair is in August” and we played it for family night. More recently “it’s not fair” is coupled with “that’s stupid.” With all the efforts people around me want me to make to make all things fair. With a kid entering her adult phase, 3 moody teens and a 7 year old who believes that she is going on 20, I have decided that life is not a fair, it is a circus. LOL. A quick trip to Google proved that the thought is not original at all. It ought to count for something that I thought it without ever hearing anyone else say it before.
If you only look at the first statement, “Life is not (a) fair,” it seems to be a fairly obvious, if pessimistic, observation about life. “Life is a circus” seems to imply that life is just a bunch of wild out of control fun. Not so fast.
Life is not without consequences
We visited the county fair in the early part of August and we visited the State fair earlier this week. One thing is clear… a fair is an event intended to be short-term, and significantly different than ordinary life. With the high prices, toxic food, trash everywhere, and raucous noise gets obnoxious fast and I’m ready to go home! Some days I feel the same about “real” life. “Real” life keeps going for a long time. I can’t really afford to be wasteful or destructive. LOL… but I can’t find time to exercise or do other things for myself that I can’t afford to miss. Yet we all have to live with the consequences of the choices we make for a very long time.
Life is not the same for everyone
OK. I know it’s a different meaning of the word “fair”, but remember all is fair at the fair. Everyone pays the same ridiculously high prices, for the same garbage stuff that nobody needs. Life is not that kind of fair either. In “real” life, some people get free rides and get to skip to the front of the line, while most people work real hard and still lose their lunch before they get on the first ride.
Life is not safe and is often dangerous
The fair is also a safe place (well, mostly – a couple of my kids would argue that point since they have terrifying memories of being lost for hours at the State fair as young children and they couldn’t help but notice all the unsavory characters at the Fair on Monday but work with me here). Even the haunted house, which looks incredibly scary, turns out to be nothing but a few illusions, and nobody gets hurt. Besides, if anybody does get hurt at the fair there are people all around to help. It’s not part of the fair; that’s real life intruding into the fair. A circus is also full of real danger. Sure they use safety nets and declawed lions (nice safety measures if you are not afraid of heights and are not allergic to cats). Performers still get hurt and even killed quite frequently and life is so like that. A single misstep could easily be your last. A circus is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work, and the real dangers are bigger than the ones you see.
Life is confusing
The first thing I think of when I think about life being like a circus is the clowns (that would be the teenagers), monkeys (that would be the younger rug rats), and general chaos (that would be current schedule). A circus analogy definitely holds true. LOL. “Real” life is full of a lot of strange things, a lot of funny things, a lot of scary things, and a lot of amazing things. Some call this the “spice” of life. However, admit it life is confusing. I often find that I don’t know what to focus on most. So many things are happening at once, on stage and in the stands, it is nearly impossible to keep up with everything. Some days are like that.
Life has place for each person
Life is not fair for the performers at the circus either. Face it. Some get to fly high on a trapeze while others get attacked by lions. Personally, I don’t want to take on either role. I’m not one for high places and I certainly don’t enjoy being attacked by vicious beasts. Yet I am forced some day to switch up my part and face new dangers. Thankfully, most days I have a role to play in life and I try to live it with the confidence that the show would not be the same without small and insignificant part. Besides, there is no star in a circus. Every performer is a star, but there is no one person who is the main performer in every act. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that you are not “star” of the show, and neither is that person you are jealous of.
I guess it’s time to quit sulking about what I do not, or the weight I can’t shed, and the troubles with teens etc. I am going through and be thankful for what I do have. It may not be what I wanted (or thought I wanted). It may, instead, be something I need to achieve my mission in life… to learn to be more like the Savior and to return to a loving Father in Heaven. It’s hard to remember that my goal is the same as other goals, but my path will be different. I am unique. My life is unique. My skills and abilities are unique. My mission is unique.
Life may not be fair, but at least I can learn to enjoy the circus.