The fastest way to get me to stop reading an essay is to begin it with a conversation between mother and child. I’m glad I didn’t stop reading this one by Susan Fuji, published in Early to Rise, the newsletter that I wrote for ten years as Michael Masterson.
What Do You Mean, Life Isn’t Fair?
By Susan Fujii
“What do you mean, ‘it’s not going to be fair’, Mom?” my eldest daughter asked.
That weekend we hosted an Easter egg hunt and champagne brunch for several of our close friends and their children. My eldest Kung Fu Kid was so excited to have her friends come over, and yet she was very caught up with the concept of “fairness”…she wanted to make sure that the hunt was “fair” and that everyone would find the exact same number of eggs.
At all of the local Easter egg hunts here in the Bay Area, the “competitions” are managed so that each child is only allowed to find a certain number of eggs, usually three or five. This makes it “fair” for everyone, and no one leaves disappointed.
Today, kids are often brought up to avoid any exposure to “bad” things like “failure” or “disappointment”. At school, if you bring a Valentine, you must bring one for the entire class. If you pass out invitations at school, you need to invite everyone.
While I admire the fact that no one wants to disappoint a child (I don’t either–I’m not an evil meanie!), unfortunately this doesn’t prepare them very well for real life as an adult.
Because (as we all heard our parents tell us when we were little), life isn’t “fair”.
And that’s the truth.