So What If Life Isn't Fair? - Learning To Play The Hand You Were Dealt.
The cards we are dealt in life, are the cards we are dealt. It’s our decision how we play our hand.
Blasphemy - One of the more sober realities of life is that it isn’t fair. No matter how much we try to right the wrongs in the world, life will still be unfair for someone somewhere. It may seem unfortunate, but that’s just the way things are and complaining about it does no good. The cards we are dealt in life, are the cards we are dealt. It’s our decision how we play our hand.
Sometimes, when we are doing everything we can to make things go our way, something totally out of our control will punch us in the stomach. It just doesn't seem fair. Well guess what, sometimes it isn't fair, at least from a human perspective. That's the very painful truth about our lives.
No matter who we are, there will be times when something unfair will happen, or be done, to us – something that feels so unjust that our heads spin for days, or even weeks. We live with these little thoughts of disbelief. Sometimes we lose control of our emotions and even fantasize about getting even. When our balance is momentarily kicked sideways, it can be difficult to get a good sense of direction. But anger or revenge seldom make it any better.
Some of us are born leaders. Some of us are followers. Some of us have unique talents. Some of us don't have any. Some of us have great confidence. Some of us are forever burdened with inferiority complex. Some of us care only what we're thought of; others couldn't care less.
Fairness is not necessarily part of the bargain. When fairness seems to fly out the window, we must not allow our inspiration to go with it. There is always a new path that oftentimes proves to be better than the one we were on. Once we come to grips with this reality; when we stop asking why me – how come this one is richer than me, or that one is smarter than me – our lives become much happier.
There are many examples of people who got passed over for a promotion, lost the love of their lives, or had to change their lifestyles drastically, who found a way to reinvent themselves, move forward, and turn things around. History is replete with people that have, against all odds, made themselves into a success story. Their challenge was the catalyst for their success, not failure. They didn’t blame others for their issues, and instead took action regardless of the circumstances.
The answer is that victim or not, one does not have the right to lash out against others as a result of their misfortune, and certainly not against God, not only because it is non productive or beneficial, but because it is downright destructive. It breeds a pernicious atmosphere, which leaves a noxious void in its wake. The venom of those who consider themselves accountable to no deity – who worship only human reason and feelings as a moral compass, has brought us the Holocaust and the horrors of Stalin.
Worse even is the combination of religious extremism added to the rampant secularism. While such a combination may appear contradictory, often it is.
It is one (albeit terrible) thing to ignore or even deny the existence of God. However, it is even worse to accept the existence of God, only to curse Him. This is the most harmful manner to undermine religion. To actually accept the existence of God, but to claim that He poorly manages the world and to attribute to Him acts of evil.
At a superficial glance, such a claim may to some extent be understood, if mistaken. A believing person may, even must, question God in his struggle to decipher His unknowable ways; but that questioning must not lead us away from Him, and certainly not serve as permission to curse Him. The mantra of a person must be that “He is a faithful God, never unfair, righteous and moral is He”( Deutronomy 32:4).
The severity of blasphemy is such that it is considered one of the Seven Universally binding Noahide laws, for which (theoretically) the penalty for violation is death.
“Who blasphemes the name of G-d shall be put to death” (24:16) and a seemingly unrelated law, one which the scripture has stressed previously and appears to need little reinforcement: “One who takes a human life must be put to death” (24:17), appears to be implying that a murder is an inevitable byproduct of a society that can curse the Creator. Human life is a reflection of the image of God, and once we deny that image, it is easy to justify murder. It is, after all, just the destruction of a cluster of cells that make up the mass of matter we call a human being.
We must be extremely wary of the inescapable relationship between blasphemous speech and blasphemous action. It is rare for evil to flourish without being preceded by an ideology of hate and propaganda.
One must always sanctify the name of God. We are bidden to sing the praises of God, to give thanks to Him for all of our blessings even while simultaneously praying for the fulfillment of our needs. That is a critical safeguard to society.
The blasphemer seeks to repudiate everything through his blasphemy, including the very existence of God – as if there is no Law and Judge. In other words, scripture first teaches us at length about the significance of sanctity in society and then presents us with the blasphemer – the arch-desecrator of the sacred.
A society which concentrates on promoting the quest for sanctity, he asserts, will necessarily express its revulsion when that sanctity is desecrated. Such a society will certainly understand blasphemy as a most extreme form of deviance.
May we take to heart the lessons and accept our lot in life with love and respect for the giver of life and our particular mission in life. [R' Yoseph Kahanov]