21 May 2012

Rule 1: Never Expect Life to be Fair

I've decided to try and condense Workshop's Rules of Life so I can point my sons to them in the future and say "See why that didn't work?  You violated Rule 1."  The biggest problem I've had is ordering them.  But, this is probably the best and most important Rule, so deciding it was #1 was easy.

Never expect life to be fair.

There's always going to be someone smarter/faster/stronger/richer/etc. than you.  That's okay, because there are going to be times when you are smarter/faster/stronger/richer/etc. than someone else.

But if you expect life to be fair, you'll fall prey to the people who say they can make it fair.  Which they can only do by being decidedly UNFAIR to someone else.  If you accept the proposition that Life Should Be Fair, what you're really admitting is "Life should be fair to me and unfair to someone else."  Don't do that, because there are a lot more "someone elses" who will love to make life unfair for you.

That's not to say you shouldn't treat people fairly.  You should, and it is a great insight to another's character when you watch him act fair or unfair to others. There is room for the Golden Rule ("Treat others as you would have them treat you in their place."), and most ethical dilemmas can be solved quickly by applying that rule.  . Good business and common sense dictate that you should deal fairly with people, because that is the best way to keep customers and friends returning.  You can change the unlevel playing field with your preparations and skills and a good soil pulverizer.

But sometimes a driver is distracted and causes a traffic accident that makes you late for work, and you get in trouble for being late.  Not much you can do about it.  A coworker might steal your great idea.  That tells you what type of person he is, so avoid interacting with him in the future, because he's a backstabber.  A politician might promise to cure your financial ailments by taxing "the rich" more.  Which is a straight-out promise that the politician will treat the rich man less fairly than he says he'll treat you.  Don't worry, because the moment your vote doesn't matter, he'll sell you out to another group of people.

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