Actually, It Is Fair…

This blog is about being uncensored so I’m going to take advantage of that and share a pet peeve of mine. To do that, I need to tell you the story of Alice. At least I think her name was Alice. It’s been a while and my brain is dusty.

Alice was a thirty something woman trapped in an 5 year old’s mentality. Not a very nice thing to say, I know. I’m not trying to be mean. There is a point to be made. Her knee jerk response to most things in life was “that’s not fair!” It’s something I’ve heard my nieces and nephews rattle off frequently. Fortunately my kids are still too young to grace me with that verdict. Alice, on the other hand, was too old to be getting hung up on what didn’t appear to be fair. Alice didn’t like the fact other people seemed to have ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ was, easier than her. She gobbled up way too much of my time pointing out life’s injustices.

I have a gigantic issue with the “that’s not fair” argument. In my time on this fine planet I’ve come to realize few things happen in life just because. What may appear on the surface to be better results with less effort is often quite the opposite. Alice was quick to brand those who seemed to have opportunities fall in their laps as lucky and having it easier than her. It’s true they may have had it easier than her at that moment, but how did their efforts in the days, months and years leading up to their success compare with Alice’s? It was a question Alice wasn’t interested in pondering. She wanted to measure fairness in the here and now versus over the course of time.

The fact of the matter is those who put more time into building a network of contacts, strengthening those relationships, enhancing their skills and touting their abilities are going to have an easier time generating positive results when they are looking to do things like land a job or gain a promotion than those who haven’t invested the same effort. That doesn’t mean they’ve had an easier road to travel in life. To the contrary, they’ve actively been stacking the deck in their favor for a while. Perhaps it was intentional. Perhaps it was simply a product of their natural inclinations. It doesn’t really matter. The end result was the same. They found themselves better positioned to make things happen for them in the future. Hats off to them.

Those who find themselves pulling an Alice and becoming consumed by how unfair something seems would be better served finding out what the other person did differently than them. More than likely there is something to be learned. I dare say it’s impossible that individual’s habits, efforts and abilities were identical to the person feeling slighted. Just as with most things in life, when something appears easy to another that person has likely logged a lot of hours to create that illusion. When it comes to job seekers, those who are starting from scratch every time they need to go looking for a job, as was the case with Alice, are inevitably going to find themselves trailing those who found a way to keep themselves visible and in the loop whether they were looking or not.

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