Friday, September 9, 2011

You Get What You Get

I was sitting here doing some amusing musing about the great complexities of life. You know, why are we here, how come bad things happen to good people, why haven’t the Browns ever made it to a Super Bowl…that kind of stuff. A couple weeks back I wrote about the strange twists and turns that a golf ball makes and how perfect strategy can avail you nothing while horrible shots can sometimes turn out good. The kinds of things that make many folks go nuckin futz trying to figure out.
For example, by all accounts Casey Anthony killed her kid, yet was found not guilty. Meanwhile, some poor soul who was just minding their business walking down the street gets blindsided by a bus. For those agnostically-inclined, this seems to be proof that there is no God. For the more pious, they would say that He works ‘in mysterious ways’.
I don’t think either is the case.
I don’t believe in justice. And the reason I don’t is that is a subjective term that varies in definition from individual to individual. My definition of justice may make you vomit, and vice versa. Further, using the examples from the last paragraph, the agnostic may think the only place ‘justice’ can be administered is in the courtroom since there is no supreme being, whereas the religious folks would say that the only one that can truly mete justice out is the One we meet upon vacating this earth. So, as it applies to Casey Anthony, the agnostic may say ‘she beat the system but karma will get her’ and the righteous may say ‘God will judge her.’ Justice is subjective and cannot be agreed upon. And further, on a personal level, it's not even something I desire.
My point of this isn’t to elicit opinions on Casey Anthony. I pretty much know what they are anyway. It is to point out the vagaries of perception in individuals, and further, my journey in trying to find what I truly believe is fairness. Well, here’s what I have concluded:
Nothing is fair, but everything is fair. Confused? I will elaborate.
Each person’s life is made up of thousands of incidents, some good some not so good. And if you were to take each instance on its own merit, rarely do we get what we deserve. I break the speed limit damn near every time I drive, yet I still have my driver’s license. On the flip side I treat people with respect and fairness, yet I am still single and alone. Now - take that one individual with their thousands of instances and multiply it by the 4 billion people on this globe and you have trillions of incidents. And if you take the sum of all these incidents and were to determine if fairness won the day, you would have to say yes. In other words, on a macro level it’s all good. On the individual incident level, nothing is fair. We don’t get what we deserve; we don’t get what we want.
We get what we get.
So I am sure some of you are saying ‘How Zen of you, Jer’. But the reason I have come to this conclusion is to adequately define, to my level of satisfaction, why apparently good people get screwed over while apparently bad people go through life unfettered by either incarceration or safes falling on their heads. Because that’s just how it is. I believe in God, but my definition of Him isn’t as a scorekeeper or an entity making sure everything is doled out fairly on a person-by-person level. I just think the randomness of our self will being imparted into the realm of everyone else’s self will creates conflict. And I cannot control traffic, weather, or how my golf ball bounces. I can just prepare the best I can, and execute to the best of my ability. I will either get what I deserve or I won’t.
And I am good with that. Because, honestly, what else can we do, outside of cursing God or picketing the Orange County Courthouse? So fine - be your own judge on what is fair, and feel free to be outraged when that paradigm is besmirched. I just want to be happy. So while you’re busy being pissed off, I’ll be on the golf course slapping drives towards water hazards that hit a rock and bound into the middle of the fairway, and hitting putts destined to go into the center of the hole only to be knocked off line by a spike mark. And I will smile, knowing that there’s no cosmic force out there trying to get me or doling out fairness to me…no unseen deity making sure I am getting what I deserve.
Just getting what I get.


Mike said...

Yeah....this one is a little "deeper" than some. I don't agree or disagree. Just having one of those days where I feel like speaking out. Have no idea why some people act in an evil or vicious manner. Or why seemingly good events befall seemingly bad people, and vice-versa. What I do know is that there is a force out there we term "Nature" that can be documented somewhat with various formulas and equations yet is many times unpredictable and certainly beyond our realm so far to control. And that is just in our own backyard so to speak. When we venture further into the cosmos, this "Nature" thing gets way complicated and to some extent beyond are ability to comprehend. So what does this have to with good and evil, God or no God....well, Nature does have a certain logic. But I'm pretty sure Nature is neutral--no good, no bad. The lion that viciously attacks and kills the gazzele is not good or bad---just suriving. If anything we humans are somewhat abberations in that we do things that are not in keeping with laws of nature....we kill each other sometimes merely over emotions or stupidity. But, we are a product of Nature--go figure. Bottom line is that we will never have all the answers. I do believe there is a higher power. All that I can do is try to be happy and treat others well. Be useful and helpful. And try to make each day the best day on the course of life. Here's to a hole in one.

Jerry B said...

Mike, I was going to reference nature in my story - thanks for bringing that up. It reinforces that people needs to, in my opinion, get past that life is 'doing things' to them. It may be, but it's not intentional. Just like nature - a lightning bolt has no concscience.

BTW, which Mike is this? I know a few...