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Life Isn’t Fair - Zeel Patel

It’s not fair. The first time I remember saying this was when I was four years old and had gotten in trouble for an argument that was between my brother and I, although only one of was punished, me. Fast forward about 35 years and I heard it again when my own kids were arguing and even though both got punished, they both thought it wasn’t fair. Then, I would hear it when I volunteered at my kids schools. I hear it from adults complaining on behalf of their kids or friends when an item wasn’t available in their size. The phrase is in songs, movies, tv, and book titles. We get it America, it’s not fair but when was life ever fair?

The last time I said “it’s not fair” was when I was upset about an election. Clearly, the winner did not win the most votes but that doesn’t matter because life isn’t fair. I cried my eyes out. My son came up to me the next day and was saddened at the results. His class had participated in a mock election and the kids looked up facts on both the candidates. His fifth grade teacher went above and beyond in helping her students gain knowledge of the 2016 presidential election. Alas, they did learn a huge lesson that fairness doesn’t come into play with politics.

Four years later, we are dealing with a pandemic, and not just any pandemic, a global pandemic called COVID 19. You would think that people would consider safety for others and themselves as a priority, but nope. It’s not fair, that we as Americans have to wear masks. We are the land of the free. Yes, we are the land of the free and home of the brave but why does fairness come into play when science conscious governors make a mask mandate for a state? You would think that the simple phrase that is used primarily by kids would not be used by adults just because they are asked to consider others. If I had a nickel for every instance in which I heard, “it’s not fair” when talking about COVID 19, I think every piggy bank in my house would be over flowing right now.

It's not fair. Those words again but this time spoken to me over the phone from one of my best friends. She thought she was done with cancer, as she was just going in for her bloodwork for reconstructive surgery. I didn’t know what to expect when I called her after her husband had told me the cancer had spread. My instinct just told me that I needed to check in on her and hear her voice. But all she said was, “it’s not fair,” over and over. I didn’t know what to say back to her. My only response was you’re right, it isn’t fair, life isn’t fair but I said this in my own head. My last conversation with her was about fairness and the ultimate sacrifice, our life.

Three simple words that are used daily throughout our nation really show us what we are made of. Fairness and equality matter to us all, yet we lack empathy to provide that for others. There are those of us who say, “it’s not fair” repeatedly. There are some people that do not use this phrase at all. And then there people that use it only when it truly isn’t fair. And the only answer in return is always, life isn’t fair.


Zeel Patel has always daydreamed of writing, but kept letting things always get in the way of actually doing it. When she is not chasing her dream of becoming a writer, Zeel is a full-time PTA volunteer, cab driver to her boys, and co-own a healthcare company with her husband. Her passions are reading, my book club meetings, museums, and traveling.


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