While a member of a recovery group sponsored by the State of Georgia, one man cried out during the second meeting, "It's not fair!" He went on to compare himself with his older and younger brothers who, seemingly, were not molested and had no serious problems.
After allowing him to rant for several minutes, the therapist said, "You're right. It's not fair, but it is real."
Dean, the quietest man in the group, pulled up his left pants leg and showed his prosthesis from just below the knee. "And this isn't fair either. It's not fair that I'm alive and my dad died in the accident."
We were stunned and hardly knew how to respond but Dean added, "You can groan all you want about the unfairness, but nothing will change. If you're willing to grow up, you'll accept the reality and ask, 'Now how do I live the rest of my life'?"
I can't remember how the exchange went after that, except the it's-not-fair complainer yelled and groaned. He never came back to the group, and was our first dropout.
Maybe the poor man couldn't face the reality of his situation. Storming against the unfairness of life does no good. If anything, it makes it worse because we can't accept life as it is.
It took me a long time, but I finally began to say, "What is is what is." That's my shorthand way of saying, "That's the situation and I can't change it. But now I can make decisions on what to do next."