Kurtis Dunlap is a fifth-year senior at MU. He is an English major. He writes about student life as an opinion columnist for The Maneater.
It is pretty commonly known that life is not fair. Some people go through life having it pretty easy while others struggle day to day. Some people will make millions of dollars and retire early while others will have to work well into their 60s or 70s.
Life is inherently unfair and that is what makes it so rewarding and everyone needs to stop complaining about how unfair everything is.
Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t promised anything and nothing is just given to you. The coddling of America’s youth is beyond explanation. In youth sports, all athletes are given participation trophies to make all the kids feel good about themselves so they don’t feel left out. Society has come to the conclusion that if the kids who don’t win don’t receive trophies for their efforts, they are destined to be failures.
We are being programmed more and more to think that everything should be fair in life when in reality, life in itself is unfair. It used to be that your parents would coddle you up to a certain age and then you would have to learn that there will always be someone better than you, but now it seems like they coddle you right up through adulthood.
We have been taught that everything will work out because for the most part it has. Graduating high school, getting into college and eventually graduating college are all common goals that you have most likely achieved or hope to achieve. Everything has gone just like you have expected, but soon that is going to change.
Your roommate is going to get an internship or job while you struggle to find one. Your best friend is going to find a significant other while you continue to sit alone at night watching Netflix. You’re not going to be the smartest person in your classes like you were in high school and you might even fail a class.
If life were fair, the University of Alabama football team wouldn’t be in the National Championship game every year while MU struggles to win four games. The unfairness of life is what makes winning such an amazing feeling. If everyone's a winner, than no one is.
It’s like how when someone does get a job offer for their dream job right out of college it is such an awesome accomplishment that it should be celebrated because it doesn’t happen too often. If everyone was blessed to get their dream job, then life would be boring. Getting everything handed to you just because you think you deserve it or have been taught that you deserve it makes life lame and you lose all the incredible experiences that come from it.
Life is really complex and cannot be a fair thing. There is always going to be someone who is smarter than you, looks better than you or will make more money than you. But what we can all do is celebrate life, make the most out of what life gives us and celebrate the accomplishments that we earn. Receiving a trophy just for showing up is no way to go through life.
Being mad and bitter that something didn’t go your way is completely okay. It will teach you to be better the next time so maybe things will work out for you, but even then it might not. But hey, at least you’ll have your participation trophy.