Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is one of the true classics of literature and it deals with the concept of equality. Set on a farm in England when the animals kick out their human owners and proceed to take care of their own needs.
They establish 7 commandments which essentially boil down to one single idea – that no animal is better or deserves more than another.
I won’t spoil what happens for those of you who haven’t read the book but I will say that its message is timeless and to me, the best 100 pages ever written.
I clearly remember reading it late into the night back in college to help a friend out and the further I got in the book the more parallels I could see to the world we live in.
In life, despite what we want, or think, things just aren’t fair.
Why? That’s not a question I can answer but best as I can figure – that’s just the way it is.
Shouldn’t it be fair? A fair question and my answer is no, because we are not equal. We do not possess the same strength, skills, physical appearance, speed, kindness, intelligence, empathy, concentration, courage, creativity or passion that anyone else does. On top of that, we each are given the power of choice. Some choose to work hard, others don’t. Some choose to wake up early and stay late, others don’t. Some do just what it needed, and some do whatever it takes.
We’re like those trump cards kids play with different scores on them (or like Magic cards today). I clearly remember my superhero cards as a kid – Height 6’2, Weight 200lbs, Strength 100, Powers 80, Weapons 0. No one card was perfect, depending on which category you chose even the most powerful card could lose.
That may not be the best analogy but I hope you get what I mean.
In a nutshell, we are unique.
That’s why life will never be fair.
We may deserve equal rights and basic freedoms but the rest is up to us. Life is what WE make of it.
I look around at the riots in England and the protests in Greece and am saddened that more and more people blame the government for their situation. There are those that want the government to take care of them. Others expect it, and some even demand it.
In this day and age with the access to technology and information in our pocket rather than wait for the government to help you, why not simply take control of your own destiny?
Money is not a freedom or a right. Money is not some mystical force. Money is simply a reward for effort and achievement.
So if we desire more money it’s really very simple – work harder than others and even more importantly, achieve more than others.
Now I know what some people might say when they read that – “But Adrian, I’m working harder than I ever have before and I’m still not getting ahead, that can’t be the answer.”
And I understand how they feel, because I was there once. But then I heard something that revolutionized the way I saw the world and that was something along the lines of, “It’s not the company’s job to make you rich. The company’s job is to keep you working.”
I got the message – if I wanted to become successful that I would need to invest my money wisely, improve my skills to get promotions or see more opportunities, and devote time, money and energy to achieving these things.
Just the other day I read about how a certain group of people in America were to be given cell phones and 250 free minutes a month – why? Because they were too poor to be able to afford them.
But being poor is not a permanent condition.
We can change. We can save. We can invest. We can make more. We can become rich.
The operative word is those sentences is CAN. We can…but many won’t.
Why? Again, that’s just the way it is.
It’s not going to change.
For centuries there have always been the haves and the have-nots.
It is not about where you start out, your background, your family, your language, your culture, your schooling…or any of the other stuff out there that is the major determining factor in how your life turns out. It has, and always been, about what’s in us. Don’t believe me, ask Tony Robbins. Ask J.K. Rowling. Ask Oprah Winfrey.
So who cares if life isn’t fair. Don’t try and change it.
Some things just won’t change.
But you can.
And I hope that you will.