One of my favorite six year olds, who has amazing vocabulary and diction, has the funniest habit of saying “It’s not thair” instead of “It’s not fair“. It makes a potentially annoying phrase endearing, and no one is correcting her anytime soon. When we were six, life did probably seem unfair, and we expressed exactly how we felt. “That’s not fair!” or “No fair!” seems to be a go-to phrase for the precious kindergarten population when things just aren’t going the way they want. When we were six, we could stomp our feet, clench our fists, make our declaration, and move on.
But then we grew up.
And instead of getting better, we got worse.
Now I’m not speaking for everyone. I have a lot of very mature people in my life who do not give the time of day to minor injustices. And I use “injustice” lightly. I’m talking about the small potatoes of life, the things we would reprimand our children for complaining about, quoting the ever popular, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit”. I’m talking about things that really don’t matter in the scope of life.
Case in point: Bobby Bones won Dancing with the Stars, and the internet lost their ever loving minds. Full disclosure: I voted for Bobby every week, because I loved his heart and his passion for the show. I am not ignorant of the fact that he was not the best dancer, but I enjoyed watching him every week, so I made my calls every Monday night. So the finale came, and his name was announced as the winner. They didn’t even announce the runners-up. His name was called, credits rolled, and America sat with mouths open wide. The Dumas household may or may not have thrown a mini party after we got over the initial shock.
But then the unsatisfied viewers took to the internet. “I’m done with this show”, “I’m never watching again”, “I have never been this disappointed in Dancing with the Stars”, “I hate Dancing with the Stars”, and it only got worse from there. People pulled out “your mom” lines, Bobby’s Twitter was hacked, celebrities bashed him online, Bobby got death threats- y’all! Death threats over a television show. You know who was silent? The other contestants in the finale. The people with a horse in the race weren’t blowing up. They were on a plane together, heading to New York to be on Good Morning America. Not physically or verbally abusing the champion. Thousands of people took offense to something that had nothing to do with their everyday lives. They reverted back to their childhood selves and threw a collective tantrum.
Now I’m sure I’m not speaking to the fit throwers, but I know I’m guilty of getting offended at really insignificant things. I get offended about things that aren’t even my business. As an adult, we know what comes after the phrase “It’s not fair!”. Life’s not fair. We won’t always win when we deserve it. We won’t always be appreciated for the work we do. We won’t always get the job we think we are most qualified for. Life isn’t fair, but it’s not rational to verbally abuse, or, more realistically, hide behind a computer screen and lash out at someone.
When Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, social media wasn’t a thing, but because He’s all-knowing, He meant for us to love our neighbors on Twitter, too. We cannot waste our time getting up in arms about insignificant things. There are too many real injustices happening every day.
It’s unfair that children go to bed hungry.
It’s unfair that there are families torn apart by politics.
It’s unfair that criminals get away with murder- literally.
It’s unfair that individuals suffering from mental illnesses aren’t getting the help they need.
I could go on. But you get my point. A reality show? Come on. Channel your energy into something you can change.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Ghandi
Isaiah 30:18 says “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him” (NKJV). God has shown us grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy. It’s not our job to show justice, but to live justly. We have a righteous Judge for that. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NKJV). Nowhere in that statement does it say “lash out at someone until you get your way”.
We are going to be disappointed. We are going to experience frustration and feelings of helplessness about the events surrounding us. At the end of the day, no matter what life throws our way, we are commanded to show mercy, do justly-even when we are surrounded by injustice- and to love one another. Maybe if we followed Jesus’ lead, we would see fewer injustices. Maybe we would start fixing what is broken. If we regress to the good parts about being six-when we shared our snacks, and gave out hugs like they were confetti, and we colored pictures for people- maybe then we could live in a world we like.
Don’t get caught up in someone else’s battle, in the things that don’t affect your life a single bit. Get out there and love your neighbors- even if they voted for Bobby Bones on Dancing with the Stars.