Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Life Is Not Fair

Last Wednesday, I went to a RS board meeting. Our bish was there at the beginning to give us a 15 minute address. One of his talk's themes was the idea that life wasn't fair. That he had gone to BYU education weekand had been very impressed by Robert Millett (sp?) who had talked about how life just wasn't fair. And that we can't expect it to be. That we just have to accept it and not spend too much time complaining about it. (There might have been more to that theme, but that's the gist of what I took away.)

I thought about this for a while. And you know what? I agree that life isn't fair. It's not fair that I have so much financial security and others don't. It's not fair that I have a super nice husband and baby and others don't. It's not fair that I have options and choices in my life - whether to work, whether to stay at home, what my profession is - and others don't. It's also not fair that I and my righteous sisters don't have the same or even similar opportunities to contribute to our church community.

But I'm not comfortable with just accepting all that. Life isn't fair. But I don't think that means I should just sit on my tail and accept it. I think I should work for a better world. A world where the poor have more opportunities for security, where all people have opportunities to for education and professional advancement, where women can contribute equally with men.

As one of the most privileged humans on earth, I think I have the responsibility to help to try to eradicate injustice when I see it. To bring attention to it. To raise the awareness of others to it. I think that's what Christ would have me do.


Blogger jana said...

I think one of the biggest challenges for most Mormons in understanding that "life isn't fair" is that they believe if they live the commandments then God will bless them with what they need and/or desire. When they have roadblocks (e.g. infertility, singlehood, health problems, poverty, etc) then they question why God hasn't blessed them.

It's a Calvinistic notion, IMO, that God blesses those who are righteous. And it makes no sense if one believes that God is compassionate and just. But such beliefs are a HUGE part of American and Christian culture/dogma.

9/29/2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger Seymour Glass said...

as jana points out, it's curious notion indeed to believe that righteousness will guarantee health, wealth, security, happiness or anything else. i mean, isn't the story of Job there to teach us that life is actually designed to be unfair? if it's to test us, then things need to be difficult.

and caroline, your response is the appropriate one. to recognize that life is unfair should prompt us to act in ways to improve the lives of others.

and if people paid more attention to the wisdom of the Princess Bride they'd know that "life is pain princess."

10/01/2007 5:56 PM  
Blogger Anna Maria Junus said...

I agree with you on taking the life is not fair premise and turning it into a positive.

I think the bishop was just tired of listening to people complain.

Which if it were me there would translate into "just shut up and don't bother me."

10/05/2007 2:31 PM  

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