Saturday, July 23, 2011

Is life fair?

When two kids born of same parents and brought up in the same surroundings with identical facilities and comforts, one turns out to be very intelligent while the other tends to be a dud or one is born healthy and the other a victim of host of ailments. Why life is not fair to everyone, is a question that comes up in everyone’s mind when besieged by problems. Superficially it would appear life is certainly unfair. No two are dealt with in similar fashion with outcomes being different for the same efforts.
But we have the false belief that life should be fair to all with no discrimination as we are all children of God who is believed to be impartial and kind. We start questioning God’s ways when things do not go well for us or for those dear to us. If we accept the premise that life cannot be fair, we would stop pitying ourselves and sincerely work for betterment. We would no more compare with others or even worry for others who suffer. Instead we may commiserate with them and help them where we can. Once we realize that it is not the purpose of life to be fair or perfect, we get a new perception of life and strength of mind to face situations as they come instead of wallowing in self pity.
But the entire insight into the issue of fairness would undergo a total transformation if we look at things through the prism of karma theory. “My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand”-Thich Nhat Hanh. All actions good or bad have outcomes in the present life or succeeding lives. Christianity puts the same idea succinctly in the words “As you sow, so you reap.”Our past actions follow us like shadow and cannot be shirked away. The luxury and wealth that wicked men enjoy is the outcome of unliquidated good deeds in the previous births while the untold suffering that good men undergo is the result of past bad karma. Many may have doubts about karma theory but then how do you explain if God were all merciful, impartial and compassionate, why one baby is born blind or with ailments while the other one in the same family healthy. The pieces would fall in place if we accept the karma theory. So if life is not fair for us at any time in the present life, take comfort in the thought that we are discharging the debt of bad karma.
“Belief in karma ought to make the life pure, strong, serene, and glad. Only our own deeds can hinder us; only our own will can fetter us. Once let men recognize this truth, and the hour of their liberation has struck. Nature cannot enslave the soul that by wisdom has gained power and uses both in love.”-Annie Besant


  1. Agreed "as you sow, so you reap".
    I fail to understand the concept of past bad karma following you into this life. We may be the best of people this time around, but yet we suffer, question how am i going to know that this is a result of my past life? At times i think this is alibi for the many unexplained stuff.
    At least there should be some kind of hope somewhere, being always beaten due to bad karma, is demoralising.

  2. Have to go by what Krupaa says KP. Though it may be true- as you sow so shall you come we experience bad luck in bundles when all we do is just good and only good? If karma of past life is to follow us suit here, we have to wallow in self pity, without knowing the reasons for sufferings:(