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Music and the Spoken Word: The myth of fairness
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Yes, life often is unfair usually in our favor. But even when we do have troubles that seem unmerited, even when we have problems and worries that seem overwhelming, it might help to take a moment to enlarge our perspective. - photo by Deseret Connect
Editor's note: The Spoken Word is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

Have you ever heard this protest from a child: It just isnt fair! When a cake or pie needs to be cut up and shared among siblings, children love to carefully scrutinize each piece to ensure they get their fair share.

This might make parents smile, but how often do we do the same as grown-ups? Do we sometimes scrutinize others lives and compare them with our own? This can lead to a feeling that life owes us something; we feel entitled to exactly the same blessings everybody else has. We look around and see people who seem to have perfect health, perfect families or an abundance of material wealth, and we might wonder why they got a bigger slice of the pie than we did.

Of course, challenges and adversities, blessings and opportunities, never match point for point. Measuring our happiness against what others appear to have is rarely an accurate comparison anyway. For one thing, we dont know the details of peoples lives or the hidden burdens they carry. And if we did, we might be surprised how blessed we really are in comparison.

When two little boys came to their mother complaining that life wasnt fair, she sat down with them and taught them about all the people who had no shoes, no opportunity for education, no loving family to care for them and very little food to eat.

One boy caught the message and realized that if life really were fair, his life might be quite different. I guess Im lucky life isnt fair, he said. He didnt lose his desire for fairness, but after that, it no longer led him to want more for himself; rather, it inspired him to reach out in compassion to the less fortunate.

Yes, life often is unfair usually in our favor. But even when we do have troubles that seem unmerited, even when we have problems and worries that seem overwhelming, it might help to take a moment to enlarge our perspective. This may include humbly counting our blessings and giving thanks for the good things we have.

More often than not, such thoughts inspire us to make life just a little more fair by sharing our blessings with others.
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