Sunday, September 13, 2009

'It hurts my heart when it's not fair,' she said

Someone had gotten more of something than someone else, and Brielle did not like it. Not one bit. She wailed her way down the hall into the great room.

"It's OK, Brielle," I said, ever trying to turn down the volume on the girly drama in my home.

But the volume went up instead. (You'd think I'd have learned by now.) She deflected my poo-pooing response to her protests with fresh vocal vigor.

I winced and waited for the swell to roll past. When it did, she unveiled the why of her righteous indignation:

"It's not fair. And it hurts my heart when it's not fair!"

I loved her more than ever.

As a kid, the closest I came to going postal on my teachers was when they answered a complaint about unfairness with the truism, "LIFE isn't fair." Great. Just be in bed with the injustice, I would have told them if I'd had the words. Be part of the problem. Resign yourself.


I still feel that way. And though I have the words now, I also have the discretion or fear or prudence or whatever you want to call it to bite my tongue and simply resent the speaker. Too often, I choose cool contempt for the person over hot attack of the problem.

As an adult, I've learned more about the shades of justice. I've learned that equity is different from equality. For everyone to get the chance they deserve, some need more help. And when they don't get it, I still get angry.

Life is not fair; my teachers were right. But is the good-kid thing to do about it to shut up and take it?

Or to scream?

Brielle, may your heart never stop breaking when it senses injustice. Like you did just now, may you have the words--and the courage--to assault it wherever it lingers.

God knows you have the voice.

1 comment:

Toni Momberger said...

Wonderful post.
It should be engraved somewhere.