Why is life so unfair?

This is a question that almost everyone, everywhere asks at one point or another in their lives. Everybody wonders about the fairness of life, but it’s only done so when we get the short end of the deal. It’s only when we get the smaller slice of cake do we ask about why the other person gets the bigger piece. What about when we get the bigger piece? Do we still want life to be fair then? Struggling with these questions, I came across a parable in the Bible that really explains  the unevenness of life.

The Parable

The parable of talents in Matthew 25:14-30 starts out as a business minded man gets ready to leave for a long journey. Before leaving, he calls on three of his servants to manage his wealth as he would while he is away. The first servant is given with five bags of talents, which was a measure of money in those times which could also be translated to gold. The second servant is given with two bags of gold and the third one was given one bag. Even though this may seem unfair or uneven, isn’t it fair that the person who owns the wealth be allowed to choose to whom he gives how much to?

As their master left for his long journey, the servant who got the five bags of gold was eager and excited to put his abilities to use to increase the wealth that he was given. Just as his master would, he put his money to work right away and traded it for things of appreciating value as did the second one. The last servant who got only one bag, went and dug a hole in the ground and buried the bag until his master came back to receive it.

When their master returned after a long time, the first servant was excited to present his success because he managed to double the wealth and now he had ten bags of gold and the second one now had four. When it was time for the third servant to present his progress, he went out and took the gold that he buried and presented it to his master.

The Paradox

As the first and second servant presented their increased return on wealth, the master promised them since they have taken care of some things; he will put them in charge of many things. The tables turned after the master discovered what the third servant has done with his wealth. The business minded master expected a return on his wealth, but when he found out about what his servant did, he was outraged. Due to his laziness and fearfulness to do something to with the things he was entrusted with, the third servant lost what he had. The master took away what he had and gave it to the servant who had ten bags of gold.

The Lesson

Most of us have this idea that life should be fair and even, and the truth is everything in life is always fair to someone. The point of life is to work with things we are given so that we may be given more. If we find excuses to be lazy and not use what we do have, even that will be taken away. Life may not be fair to you at all times, but we have the opportunity to do something, to make something, to create something with what we are given. Taking advantage of what we do have will pave way to bigger and better opportunities.

So next time when you feel like you don’t have enough or tempted to say that life is unfair, recognize that you have been a bag of gold and it is your job to turn it into five bags. If opportunity is not knocking on your door as you are sitting near the bag of gold you have buried, go out and create the opportunity to increase returns on your abilities and talents. Don’t bury what you have been given just because you have not been given an even amount as others. For everyone who has been responsible with what they have been given, more will be given, but for the one who has not; even what they have will be taken away.