I remember as a kid my niece scooped more ice cream than I had and I told my brother, "That's not fair."
"Who said life is fair?" he retorted.
I always hated that question. Who said life is fair? Well who the fuck said life is unfair?
Dude. A lot of people.
I just came out of a writing group that is surprisingly going well, and one of the critiquers said my main character has faced a lot of opposition and is going through a lot of opposition. In a way life has been unfair to him. Obviously, I've set up this character and his life in this manner to make him a more compelling and interesting read.
But when we look at real life from the perspective of labels, situations and material wealth life can be unfair. There will be people that are richer than you. There will be others that are poorer. Certain people will have talents that you will not have. And you will have talents they won't even want. A coworker may get promoted faster than you. Some people work hard and withstand stupid people (retail workers) for little money. And hard work doesn't guarantee success.
So, yes, from the perspective of the have and have-nots life is unfair.
Going back to my main character, he is now at the top of world. He's married to a beautiful woman who was highly sought after in her day. His two adult children are well adjusted. He's the general of the most powerful military force in the seven provinces. He's also the most talented and best swordsman this world has seen. Yet, he's unhappy.
Now, I'm not saying that if you're rich, you're unhappy. But people who do not consider themselves rich may think that having more will increase their happiness. And we can see that's not true. And I don't need to provide proof that unhappiness exists in people that are considered poor.
And this is where life is fair. Happiness can be had by all. Because for anyone to say they are unhappy, they at some point in their lives were happy.
The question becomes how can people herd more happiness into their lives?
For my main character, one of the things he can do is let go. As one of my critiquers have said, he's faced a lot of opposition in his life. One is portrayed here. Enduring this kind of tragedy obviously takes a mourning period. But the mourning period can extend as long as he holds onto this memory. I'm not saying he'll forget it. What I'm saying is how often does he remind himself of this tragic event can extend the mourning period.
I think losing a child is too extreme of an example. So let's take my friend Mr. Vagina. Well, don't actually take him.
My friend had fallen for a girl, hard. And he's had the damnedest time trying to heal from it. And that's the crux of his problem. He's trying to heal. You get a cut on your hand. Your body naturally begins the healing process. You don't need to pray, talk to someone, pay anyone money, or look in the mirror deep into your soul every morning and night and affirm that your body will heal itself. It'll fuckin' heal itself.
Mr. Vagina's mind is the same. It will naturally heal and move on from his perceived emotional torment. But every time we've met up for dinner, he would sink into his victim hood.
He would give me a history lesson of how all this pain started, how he's a good guy, how she's at fault, and then asks me for confirmation of all those things. I don't give it to him, but that's not the point here. He's taking the cut on his hand and slicing it again and again everyday. He's the proverbial self-cutter. Not only that but he either refuses or is unable to see that this is all self-inflicting, despite me showing him. He's been unhappy for a very long time because he's a true master at holding on to grudges.
Once he lets go, happiness, like a healthy body, will naturally show itself.
For my main character, losing a child is a very deep cut. And with that, it may naturally take more time to heal. And like some severe injuries, the human body has limits. Does the mind?