Lesson 3: Fair is irrelevant

Life isn’t always fair.  Things don’t always go the way you want them to.  Movies, in most cases, tend to let good triumph over evil, but real life will teach you that is not always, if ever, the case.  The military is no exception.  There are always more questions than answers.  Why is he getting preferential treatment?  Why does their unit get all the holidays off?  Why do we have to run towards the gunfire and explosions, but they get to run straight for the safety and cover of a bunker?  Why do we have to work 60 to 80 hours per week, but they only have to work 40?

These are all questions that will inevitably occupy your thoughts at some point in life.  A lot of the time, when you get an answer to these questions, the answers only serve to breed more questions.  Even before I enlisted, I encountered situations where these questions, or similar, came to mind and the lack of fairness seriously irked me.  The military was just the first time someone gave me a non-diluted answer to my face.  Suck it up.  The reality of life is harsh and not everyone is cut out to be in certain situations.  It is this harshness that will toughen you up and allow you to evolve.

Things in life are not fair and they never will be.  At least, not to the extent you want, expect, or even demand.  That is not the way the world works.  Whether it is some distant battlefield, the school playground, the corporate world, or anywhere else you happen to find yourself, fair is just another concept that is thrown around in discussions but rarely finds its way into most real-life situations. Even though that is the case, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  Like most things, if you learn to use it to your advantage, it can become a powerful tool.  And just because you encounter unfairness, doesn’t mean that you have to contribute to it. 

Situations are what you make of them.  You have the ability, even in unfair situations, to create a better environment.  How you respond and how you conduct yourself will determine the outcome.  Is it fair to expect a service member that has spent all their active or reserve duty time training in dentistry to man an M-240B machine gun and provide immediate overwatch for incident response?  Is it reasonable to expect a military policeman or security force member to conduct aircraft maintenance on a C-5 Galaxy experiencing an engine failure?  These are extreme examples, and you might be thinking, “yeah right.”  I assure you; I have encountered similar situations.

Most people want some level of fairness, unfortunately, not everyone gets it.  Not everything in life ends up being fair.  The choices you make are the determining factor in the circumstances you will find yourself in.  That is the way the world works and that is the way life is.  Sometimes you end up on the upside and sometimes you end up in the “suck it up” category.  Get over it.  If you don’t like the way things are, change your circumstances.  There is always a way and thinking that there isn’t, is nothing more than a failure of imagination on your part.  It is no one’s fault but yours.     

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