Learning to Tolerate Life's Unfairness

Learning to Tolerate Life's Unfairness
Photo by Tobias Pfeifer / Unsplash

In our world, many people believe that fairness and reasonableness should be prevalent. We often hear exclamations like, "This isn't fair!" or "You have no right to do that because I didn't." We continually demand fairness and reasonableness, experiencing dissatisfaction when we discover they don't always exist. It's not wrong to demand fairness, but if this demand leads to negative emotions, it's an issue that requires attention.


In reality, absolute fairness does not exist. Seeking absolute fairness is akin to searching for mythical treasures; you'll never find it. The world isn't constructed on the principle of fairness. For instance, birds eat worms, which seems unfair to worms; spiders eat flies, which appears unfair to flies. The natural world is a testament to the lack of absolute fairness. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes are all instances of unfairness. Fairness is a concept, often seen in myths, while people live amidst everyday unfairness. Happiness or unhappiness isn't necessarily tied to fairness. This isn't a human tragedy, but a simple truth.

Bill Gates once said, "Life is unfair, learn to accept it." Life's unfairness can be disheartening, but it's a reality we must acknowledge. Many of us mistakenly believe that life should be fair, or that it will become fair one day. This simply isn't the case; absolute fairness will not exist, neither now nor in the future.


One advantage of accepting life's inherent unfairness is that it motivates us to do our best, instead of wallowing in self-pity. We understand that achieving perfection isn't life's mission, but rather our own challenge. Accepting this fact allows us to move past feelings of regret. Throughout our growth, we face various obstacles, confront realities, and make numerous decisions. Everyone experiences moments of feeling victimized or treated unfairly. Accepting life's unfairness doesn't imply we should cease striving to improve our lives and the world. Rather, it highlights the necessity of doing so. Unawareness or denial of life's unfairness can lead to self-pity, a defeatist emotion that only worsens our situation. However, truly understanding that life is unfair can foster compassion towards ourselves and others, which is a powerful emotion that radiates kindness. When considering the world's injustices, remind yourself of this basic truth. You may find it pulls you out of self-pity, leading to positive actions.


Unfair experiences in life are often unavoidable. In this unfair world, learning to tolerate and adapt, accepting realities and adjusting ourselves, and striving to improve our circumstances is the best approach. Resistance could not only ruin your life but could also lead to mental collapse. Thus, when people are unable to change injustices and misfortunes, they should learn to accept and adapt, to find their own value and happiness.