Need recommendations and suggestions about dealing with unfairness


you read a quote, a book, a text etc.
you watch a movie, clip, video etc.
you listen to someone give a talk,


it changes your perspective
it makes you more courageous
it makes you more resilient
it makes all the suffering you are having and have had is worth it

For example:
In the movie “Batman Begins”, the child Bruce Wayne falls to the well and later his father tells him “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
One of the interpretations is it highlights the importance of trying more and working harder and not giving up after failure or anything. This is just one example that I can think of but it is not about unfairness.

I am looking for “something to be inspired” (so to say) about unfairness. It can be a song, a quote, a book, a chapter from a book, whatever. Whatever you can find or whatever you experienced in the past.
Please share it.

I can’t help thinking of the story of the baseball manager who had to tell a rookie that despite his very good play, he had to be demoted back to the minor leagues. “But that’s not fair”, said the rookie. The manager replied “Who ever told you that anything is fair?”

Fairness does not work in the real world, where it has to be compromised in the name of expedience.

Similarly, someone (I wish I remember who) was talking about her cancer diagnosis. Her initial response was, “why me?”

After a bit of time and reflection passed, she then said to herself, “why *not *me?”.

In other words, who did she think she was thinking that cancer should only happen to other people and not her.

Fairness is a human invention; the universe doesn’t care about stuff like that. We can only receive fair treatment when a person who wants to be fair has complete control of the situation.

It was Arthur Ashe

Quite often, people who mean well will inquire of me whether I ever
ask myself, in the face of my diseases, “Why me?” I never do. If I
ask “Why me?” as I am assaulted by heart disease and AIDS, I must ask
"Why me?"about my blessings, and question my right to enjoy them.
The morning after I won Wimbledon in 1975 I should hvae asked “Why me?”
and doubted that I deserved the victory. If I don’t ask “Why me?” after
my victories, I cannot ask “Why me?” after my setbacks and disasters.

  -- Arthur Ashe, _Days of Glory_, p. 326.

“Try to learn, to let what is unfair, teach you.”

David Foster Wallace

Here is a YouTube video of part of a lecture by Frans de Waal in which a Capuchin monkey makes it very clear that it recognizes unfair treatment. He mentions that similar experiments have been done with chimpanzees, birds and dogs. So fairness isn’t just a human invention.

I think you mean “Days of Grace” (?)

I don’t doubt this, but it was a female whom I heard say the (paraphrased) quote I posted. I believe she was an author, but I’m not positive about that.

Anyway, it’s an insightful quote.

Thank you - obviously you’re right. Replacing all the humans in my post with “sentient beings” would improve it.

you are correct
Days of Grace
It is indeed an oft quoted idea. . . and rightly so!


Not all unfairness is the same.

Before I can advise you on how to deal with unfairness, I need to know exactly what we’re talking about. Because a lot of the things that strike us as unfair are just bad luck. Whenever I experience bad luck, I remind myself that eventually the rain cloud passes over. Let enough time pass and things will often work out somehow.

But if you’re being bullied or unjustly treated by people in authority, then you don’t have to just wait till the cloud passes. You can actually do something to fight back.

In b4 the rest of the board…

*“I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?” So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”

  • Marcus Cole, Babylon 5*

“Get used to it.”


This is a really important point. Much, if not most of the time that someone says “Life ain’t fair, pal.” the correct retort is “We aren’t talking about life. We’re talking about [your/his/her/their] behavior.”

I had a nine year old nephew complain about life being unfair. I told him, “Thank your lucky stars that life is not fair. If it were, you’d have to send 99% of your toys to the kids in Haiti and Afghanistan.”

No, he was not impressed. And no, I am not anyone’s favorite uncle; why do you ask?

In b4 Marcus Cole…


…Good my lord, will you see the players well
bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for
they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
time: after your death you were better have a bad
epitaph than their ill report while you live.


My lord, I will use them according to their desert.


God's bodykins, man, much better: use every man
after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?
Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less
they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty."

– William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2 Scene II *


Next time you’re asked to say Grace at the Thanksgiving table, try this one in front your family: “Thank you, Lord, for making somebody else go cold and hungry, instead of us.” See who takes seconds.

I once heard an immigrant woman on the radio talking about the bombing raids she endured in WWII. The bombs could be heard whistling as they fell, and her mother, in the bomb shelter, said “We must pray” She thought “Pray for what? That the bombs kill our neighbors instead of us?”

“If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best”
-Someone Famous*

Life be not on purpose fair,
Nor is it circus either.
For always in the latter
'Twixt acts one gets a breather.
-Doctor Jackson

I though this scene did a good job of dealing with “fairness”