From the Bench: A concurrence that life isn’t fair

As attorneys, we have the privilege of helping others in deeply meaningful ways.

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  • | 5:00 a.m. January 6, 2022
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John Guy
John Guy
  • The Bar Bulletin
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By John Guy • Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge

We have all heard, and muttered to ourselves countless times, the phrase: “Life isn’t fair.” 

Think about the last time you felt that way. What were the circumstances? Who had been wronged? What had happened that, in your mind, shouldn’t have? Hold that thought. 

I remember well a dear friend who was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

She was in her 40s, happily married and the proud mother of three wonderful children. If ever there was a circumstance for uttering the phrase, “Life isn’t fair,” this was it.

But not her. Rather than wallow in self-pity and ask, “Why me?” she did the opposite. Instead, she asked, “Why not me?” 

In the most difficult of times, my friend understood that nothing in this life is promised, that she was no more entitled to a healthy body than anyone else and that bad things happen to good people.

She understood that every day is a gift, not an entitlement, and that somewhere, someone was in much worse shape than she. 

Now consider the following: We were unconditionally loved before we took our first breath. We have been cared for by more people and in more ways than we could ever remember or repay. We have the opportunity with each sunrise to better ourselves and the world around us.

We are born with enough gifts to compensate for our weaknesses, or we are given enough intelligence to forgive our lack of gifts. Or we have enough personality, energy and wit to overcome both. 

As Americans, we have the rights to vote for our leaders, to be judged by our peers and to ideals absent in many parts of the world, like due process and the freedom of speech. We may worship in any way we want, or not at all. 

As attorneys, we have the privilege of helping others in deeply meaningful ways, every day. The work we do changes lives. Attorneys can give hope to the hopeless.

Now ask yourself, “What have I done to deserve all that?”   

I conclude the notion is correct. Life isn’t fair, is it? 

John Guy is a judge in the 4th Judicial Circuit.



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