Life Isn’t Fair

Life isn’t fair. We lose loved ones to illness and age, even as we suffer with our own aging and illnesses. Things, like people, become lost or broken in time. The nature of life is that it ends.

Life isn’t fair, not when anyone is cheated, abused, or harmed by others. But in these instances we can act by standing up for ourselves and for others. In life only death and taxes are inevitable – Abuse doesn’t have to be. Life doesn’t need any help to be harder.

For those living spiritual lives it can be difficult to act when faced by bad and potentially criminal behavior. We value our inner peace as well as treasure our ability to forgive. It is easier to walk away from a fight and simply meditate on peace and love and light than it is to hold people accountable.

However, if we value our inner peace more than we value the safety or well-being of others, it ceases to be inner peace, and simply becomes selfishness. (And forgiveness should be reserved for those that are sorry and will no longer cause harm.) 

We cannot choose to preserve our inner peace at the cost of another persons safety, not if we can stop that harm from taking place now or in the future.

In The Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna faces not only his cousins, but his uncles, teachers, and friends on a battlefield. And in that moment he loses his courage to fight. 

How can he fight and kill people he knows and loves? Sure, his cousins stole his throne and kingdom, cheated him and his brothers into slavery, sexually assaulted his wife, and tried to kill him and his brothers. But isn’t it better to walk away, maintain his inner peace, and simply know he is a better man for it?

Thankfully Arjuna is being guided by Krishna, and he is quick to correct Arjuna. Krishna tells Arjuna it is his dharma – his duty and responsibility – to fight not for revenge, or even for justice for the crimes of the past. It is because those that would commit such crimes against kings would do worse to citizens, and they will surely never stop.

If Arjuna were to walk away from the battlefield and forgive his relations for their many crimes, Arjuna would be allowing them to continue cheating, raping, and murdering others. 

When we see this through a karmic lens, we see that anyone that allows others to be harmed when they can easily intervene are just as guilty as those committing the crime.

It’s easy to read The Bhagavad Gita and nod along and tell ourselves that we will always do the right thing. But when faced with moments of injustice many choose convenience – our own abuse can not be undone and our losses cannot be recovered, so we walk away, only to allow the perpetrators to continue harming others.

We have a responsibility to one another, to protect one another, and to stand up against abuses and injustices of any kind. Life isn’t fair. But we can try to make life as fair as possible for everyone else.

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