Growing up, my sister and I spent time with favorite cousins. It was a respite of sorts from a chaotic season and the cousins offered zany moments and memories that are still fresh for me.
My cousin, the father of the family, also gave me wisdom. If I remember the story correctly, he was in the military and served during JFK’s funeral. I don’t know if he was hot or stressed or both but someone in the family told me that he passed out and it made the newspapers.
And my cousin would say, “No one promised life would be fair.”
It applied to that moment when he was being professional and his body decided not to cooperate during a national moment.
It was the answer I was given when I wanted explanation to teenaged angst or situations.
And it popped into my head last week when my son faced an experience with an adult when he did all the right things and not only was blasted, but told don’t bother coming by anymore.
All week we both struggled with the fairness of it all. Stewed over the fact that he communicated the proper way, with plenty of notice. He used respect. We think the adult forgot and tried to cover tracks, and we suspect it was a bit of retaliation for someone close to our son who didn’t communicate with the adult in the best way a few weeks before. Whatever the motive, he saw in black and white that words that don’t build up. At the end of the conversation, and for days after, he felt torn down.
And I felt ripped apart for him.
I went to God and asked for strategy. What perfect thing was I going to say or write to make this situation right for him?
How were “we” going to get justice?
And the answer was swift and consistent.
Because I kept going back to make sure.
I wasn’t supposed to do anything as far as justice went. Sure, I could bring up other instances of their past and not only make a point, but win a case. I could parallel how my son communicated versus how his peers didn’t, and he was the one that got the fury. I could write a report, make an issue, say something, anything to turn it around, and God made it clear it wasn’t His plan.
And my cousin’s words echoed.
Life isn’t fair.
So, what to do?
Here’s what I counseled my son and I apply to the situation. Honestly, some steps were easier than others.
- Wish for the other party to prosper. The adult, once I questioned the situation and asked for clarity, verbally blasted me. It wasn’t nice and it sure wasn’t fair, but she definitely made the end result clear. My response?
I wish you well.