playing fair

Fairness puts the twinkle in the stars. – unknown

Life is not fair.

Whenever I hear those words I think of the first time I remember hearing them. I was about ten, leaving a carnival, all the other girls piling into the seatbelt-free space in the back of a station wagon. My parents weren’t incredibly strict, actually quite the opposite, but seatbelts were a non-negotiable must. It wasn’t even something we argued about because, well, I guess when you don’t give your kids a ton of limits, they take those you do give as having merit. Or maybe I just thought it was stupid to not wear a seatbelt. Maybe both.

I knew I’d have to sit alone, where there were seatbelts, where I wouldn’t be part of the chitchat and giggling and the inside jokes that would develop during that ride home – absolute pre-adolescent torture.

I could feel tears welling in my eyes as I looked up at my friend’s father, the driver, and said, “This isn’t fair.” And he looked at me, shrugged, and said, “Life’s not fair.”

And that was that.

Life is not fair. My friend’s dad might have been right. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting to try and make things as fair as they can be.

I will fundraise, petition, march with signs held high for causes I believe in. And as a writer, if I can bring attention to a topic that concerns me, I will.

As a journalist I share the facts; when writing screenplays and stories, I get to make stuff up. But fiction or non, I believe that research makes for great writing.

With fiction, some subjects I immerse myself in, others not so much. It depends on the project. But writers need to do their research. They need to be careful about the amount of artistic license taken for the sake of entertainment. After reading the stats from a new study on mental health issue facing today’s youth, I feel even more so. We owe it to them.

I’m writing about it, here, on BlogHer.

Life is filled with unfairness, but if we could all help one another to lighten the load it would be nice, wouldn’t it? xo a.

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3 thoughts on “playing fair

  1. Denis Wright

    ‘Fairness’ never applies to real life. It often seems to reward the bad and unaccountably punish the good. There are only causes and effects, and there is no morality about that. If I think it’s ‘unfair’ after 60+ wonderful years of privileged existence to have an incurable brain tumour that may take my life at any moment, how much more unfair is it that children die or get burned and maimed mercilessly by bombing and war before they even have a chance at life?

    Very few people in the western world who have the facilities to read this should ever complain about ‘unfairness’.

    Reply
    1. alexandrawrote Post author

      Denis, your comments are far more fascinating than my posts. I think the word unfair is terribly overused and, as you say, a “first world problem” in most cases. The truly ‘unfair’ things in life are so utterly senseless that we lack the vocab to articulate how unjust they are. You spoke of war, which made me think of an incredible article on pacifism I recently read in the US mag Harpers. There’s a post in that, too.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: If Emily Posted - The When (Again) | Alexandra Wrote

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