Who of us hasn’t dealt with the “it’s not fair” syndrome? I mean personally, not just hearing from students.
I was thinking of this recently when I got bit by the bug – again. It is a sickness worse than the flu bug. And highly contagious to boot. How can I avoid this illness and keep from exposing others to this vicious virus? Is there a way to strengthen my immune system against it?
Here is an idea – how about doing a backwards twist, and making a list? It looks like this:
- It’s not fair that I have all the food to eat I want/need when millions regularly live with hunger.
- It’s not fair that I have a good mattress offering me comfortable sleep each night when many in the world have only lumpy mattresses, or none at all.
- It’s not fair that I live in a house with heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summertime when many people are homeless.
- It’s not fair that I can realistically dream of traveling to Israel to celebrate my 60th birthday when most people can hardly scrape together enough money to buy sufficient food.
- It’s not fair that I still have both my parents living when hardly anyone else my age still does.
- It’s not fair that I have several Bibles available for me to read when many Christians long for even a portion of it.
- It’s not fair that I live in a safe community surrounded by godly people, have the privilege of attending a stable church, and have known the story of Jesus all my life.
The list goes on and on.
Doing this twists my thinking in good ways! It cracks open the door of my heart inviting seeds of gratitude to enter, to sprout, and to grow. I start focusing on all I have rather than what I don’t have. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this seems like a great time to pass on this life-giving idea to my (mostly grateful, but still susceptible) students.
I need to start by telling them my stories, recounting the items on my list before asking them to record a minimum of ten such statements in their Bible sketch books. I can demonstrate this twist of what’s not fair, and aim to strengthen immunity against the it’s-not-fair bug in me and my classroom.
CONTRIBUTOR: Betty Yoder