The reality that life is not fair seems to be one of the most difficult and painful concepts for most to accept. Perhaps the reason for this is that our western linear model implies that it is a fair world and if you work hard enough and long enough, you will achieve your goals. Perhaps the ideas behind the creation of the USA, the values of equality and fairness for all, have led us to assume that this is the way the world should work. Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that we want the world to be fair. We want to be able to depend on something concrete and we want some guarantees for our safety, and well-being. The fact that these guarantees do not exist does not stop us from wanting them. Many of our defense mechanism, our illusions, and our denials have to do with not accepting the fact that life is unfair. Life is not fair because “fairness” is a value judgment. This means that what is fair is subjective — it changes according to who is rating what and why and when. What is fair to me today may no longer be fair tomorrow or in different circumstances or around different people. An example: the promotion that I worked hard for but was given to you, is not fair to me but very fair according to your perspective. And even if you agree with me that it was not fair, next month you will justify the fairness of it by believing you are doing a good job. The importance of this concept that life is not fair is not in the explanation of it but the acceptance. The question, “Why not.? is a crazy making one. There will always be reasons why life should be fair to you and you may spend hours defending, denying, fighting, or being depressed because something unfair has happened again. The big issues of unfairness, the life-and death- issues will never be explained in a way that makes sense. There is no answer to the why question when some one you love is dying. We know the how-cancer, heart disease, another disease, accident-but we will never know the why. And pondering the why causes dysfunctional behavior. This is a very different process accepting and grieving. Grief eventually ends; it is a natural process accepting and grieving Wondering why may never end; it is unproductive. At some point, we must let go of the why, accept the reality, and get on with living. Trying to make the world fair is both destructive and self-defeating. Many good-natured people run around trying to fix the unfairness of it all. Some of these we call codependents and living martyrs, and very few saints. Codependents and living martyrs tend to be filled with anger, resentments, envy, and insecurity. The non-acceptance of this concept creates bitterness, unhappiness, unnecessary pain and prevents the possibility of growth. This is truly unfair! The paradox here is that the acceptance of the reality that life is unfair often leads to behaviors which are more objective, more loving, and caring, and more realistic than the behaviors of the non-accepting. These accepting ones are often perceived as more “fair” than those who are trying to force the world to be fair.