When Life Isn't Fair–Read This

Tonight I tried to teach my son a lesson about life, but again, he taught me the lesson.

Stick with me, you’re going to like the payoff.

My son has been in MMA (Blended Kenpo) for 8 months and he still hasn’t earned his first belt. His instructor is tough and expects a lot. My son is close to earning his first belt, he has the moves down, and when I asked his teacher if he was ready to test, the teacher replied, “he still needs to learn the the Stack and Guard Pass.” I was surprised, because the kids who had just earned belts didn’t know the Stack and Guard Pass.

So why is it different for my son? I thought it wasn’t fair that he had to learn a move that others didn’t.

I decided it was a opportunity to teach him that life isn’t fair.

So at the dinner table tonight, I said, “you have to learn a move that other kids didn’t, just to earn the same belt, and I know that it isn’t fair. But that’s too bad, because sometimes life isn’t fair. If you want the belt, you’ll have to learn it anyway.”

My son replied, “You’re right dad. It isn’t fair… to those other kids.”

I said, “No, it’s not fair to you.”

He said, “No dad, it isn’t fair to them, because I get to learn more than them.

20 thoughts on “When Life Isn't Fair–Read This”

  1. This gets my stumble 🙂

    Steve, I really appreciate the anecdotes you post regarding your son. I probably feel more strongly about them because I too, have a son close to your son’s age.

    I still remember the smile that crept across my face when I read:

    My son replied, “You’re right dad. It isn’t fair… to those other kids.”

  2. Dereck,

    I was surprised by his wisdom. I was a bit pissed, but I wasn’t going to show it. Man… did he show me. He might as well have said, “Dad, grow up.”

    Thanks for the stumble.

  3. Wow some precious moments there. I have a 2 yr old son, he’s not talking yet but I can’t wait for those kind of dad-son conversations.

  4. Wow- that is freaking brilliant! I love it.

    What a great attitude to have as a child. Reframing that from “oh…I’m going to cry about it” to “yea…it sucks for them…because I’m going to be better” is really inspiring to me.

    I think this is pretty much the way people should be. Life is hard. Life isn’t fair. What are you going to do about it? Rolling up in a ball and crying just makes you dirty from being on the floor and a wet shirt from your tears where as fighting and pushing will get you what you want.

    Brilliant example of this and thanks for the great reminder! I knew it was a wise move signing up for your RSS feed!


    Brad Spencer

  5. Wow, that’s a very wise thought…Sometimes children can teach us precious things in simple ways and words. Please tell my astonishment to your son.

  6. Steve;

    I bet your kid through you for a loop that night. I’m smiling because there you were, all set to give the kid a lecture about how unfair life is to him when he speedily turns the tables around and throws something else at you.

    Were you stumped? Surprised? Kids say the darnest things sometimes but boy aren’t they insightful!

    Great story – the kid has a point.

  7. Stephen,

    I felt foolish and childish. For a split second I became angry, but I quickly realized that it was just my ego getting crushed by a six year old. I sucked it up and told him without hesitation, “You’re right. That is a great attitude. You are going to learn more. Just don’t be too hard on those other kids when you’ve learned so much more than them.”

  8. Yes, I know, I’ve been there. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes our ego gets in the way? It makes judgments based on the other person’s age, size, background, relation and so forth.

    But if, like what you did, we more or less set aside the ego-feelings of the moment, we are given a peek into a pool of wisdom from the most unlikely person. How lucky for you and your son that you were able to nip your ego in the bud right at that moment!

    I’m not religious but didn’t the Bible say something about “the meek inheriting the world” or something? There’s a grain of truth in that. It seems that the most “unlikely” people end up in the most unlikely of places. Like me for instance. I’ve been deaf since birth right? Who would have thought I’d end up becoming a professional speaker – I mean I get paid to speak! Go figure.

    Thanks for sharing – it was really inspiring.

  9. It is enlightening to hear stories (like yours) where people turn what is perceived by society to be a weakness or handicap into a strength. It is living proof that what we become is what we decide to become. It is humbling. I makes me feel as though I’ve done so little with what I have, but it inspires me to do more, to grow, and to quit making excuses. It is critical that we view every day as an opportunity not a hardship. Then we can provide service to others, from a position of positive personal power.

    Thanks Stephen,

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