Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Whittling Away: Life is not fair


By Dick Brooks

For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a man named Dick Brooks.

Like an old beagle on his daily route around the neighborhood, I have my daily routine to follow. 

One of my daily stops is the market. It’s a clean, well-lit place full of pleasant folks so I tend to spend more time there than I used to in my younger days. The extra time is usually spent in observing things that I used to be too busy to notice.

The other day I was following a young mother and her two little ones down an aisle. She was a pleasant-looking person pushing a cart with a little female type in the kid carrier, holding the hand of a little guy who had the look of an ankle biter. Something wasn’t going his way and he wasn’t a happy camper. 

I was close enough to hear him throw out the battle cry of those under 20 —“That’s not fair!” She stopped and I stopped and pretended to be interested in a can of chicken and rice soup so I could hear her reply. I’m not by nature a nosy person but I wanted to see what kind of parenting was being practiced nowadays.

She smiled down at him and said kindly, “Life isn’t always fair, get used to it.” He looked a little puzzled and not a whole lot happier, but he walked along quietly as they continued on down the aisle.

I stood there, chicken and rice soup in hand, and smiled — same answer I gave my kids!  The circle of life continues to roll smoothly onward. Life isn’t always fair but with a little patience and practice you can survive it.

My parents had prepared me for life when I was that little urchin and had used that same phrase by telling me the same thing the next-generation mother had just passed on to her offspring. It’s simple but valuable advice that has stood me well. 

Now that I have more life to look back on than I have time left before me, I could add a few more details to that advice, which might come in handy for that little one. They aren’t big things, just little things that are going to happen no matter what, so be prepared and don’t be upset when they happen.

These things would include: whenever your hands are covered with grease, flour or anything else messy, your nose is going to itch or you’re going to have to go to the bathroom. Anything you drop is going to roll to the least accessible spot in the room; the older you get, the more true this becomes. You will never dial a wrong number and get a busy signal. The shortest line is the slowest; switch lines and the one you were in will move faster than the one you changed to. 

More words of wisdom: The dumber the thing you do, the more people will be watching. Theater or ball park, if you have reserved seats, the people farthest from the aisle will be the last to arrive. If your car is making a strange noise and you take it to the garage, it will not make that noise no matter how hard you try. As soon as you find a product you really like that works well and is inexpensive, they will stop making it.

I could go on and on but I’ve run out of room and have to stop now — it’s just not fair!

Thought for the week — “Education, like neurosis, begins at home.” ~ Milton R. Sapirstein

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach columnist Dick Brooks at Whittle12124@yahoo. Com.

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