I have been teased in the past for being ever hopeful. I’m not unrealistic about life. I recognize that the things I hope for aren’t the reality. It doesn’t stop me from hoping for them – peace in the Middle East, sanity and reason in American politics, being reunited with a great love – but I’m not holding my breath that it’s ever going to happen either.
I’m the same way with life being fair and people doing what’s right. I think it’s the little girl in me that hopes, seeks fairness, and tries to do what’s right – and wishes the world would do the same.
I remember, as a child, saying, “That’s not fair!” and hearing, “No one said life was fair.” My response? Well, if something isn’t fair, shouldn’t we make it fair? As a child, I didn’t have some grandiose goal – I just wanted what I wanted, and it was unfair that I couldn’t have it. As an adult, I’m a bit more sophisticated. I just want the playing field leveled. I don’t want anyone to be given an unfair advantage other than the inherent traits they were born with or the skills they developed in themselves. (Societally, that’s often an unfair advantage because if you come from a more affluent area you have access to more opportunities than if you come from a poorer area.)
Wow, I digressed into my libbie politics there, didn’t I? Ok, back to my real point…
Fairness is a big deal to me. The world can’t always be fair, but I have a huge need to be fair as often as possible. This affects my relationships with people in major ways. It affects how I parent. Sometimes I have to step back and knowingly be “unfair” in the eyes of two small children because, well, sometimes life is unfair. Yes, I understand the irony of that. Parenting is filled with ironies.
At the same time, I have a strong sense of right and wrong. Most people’s sense of right and wrong is very personal to them. What may be wrong to me could be right to someone else. This isn’t about what I think is right or wrong. But, I have a very big belief in doing what’s right, even if and especially when, it’s hard.
Sometimes, what’s right isn’t fair. Sometimes, what’s fair isn’t right. And my sense of fair and right won’t match up with the next person’s belief. Both things are fairly subjective and yet most people feel pretty strongly about both. I know I do.
Over the past few months, I developed an amazing friendship with a Dominant I know. He shall remain nameless. (I learned a lesson before, and I will do a better job of protecting other people’s privacy.) He has helped me through the last few months in a way I didn’t realize I needed until he was in the middle of doing it. He’s a good man. A great man, actually.
To my sorrow, he has developed feelings for me that I can’t reciprocate. I value his friendship more than any friendship I’ve had in a long time. He’s intertwined himself in my life in ways I didn’t think possible. I need him. But my feelings aren’t the same.
It doesn’t feel fair for someone to care for me in a way I can’t return. It feels like I have an advantage that I didn’t earn, an advantage the other person doesn’t have. It feels like I’m using that person. They will make decisions based on their feelings for me that I won’t make because I don’t share those feelings. They can get hurt in a way that I can’t, because their feelings are involved. It’s not fair that they feel something that they can’t receive in return. It’s simply not fair.
At the same time, I need to do what’s right. But what’s right? Is it right to hold onto a friendship because the idea of losing it hurts too much? Is it right to continue to be honest about my feelings, knowing that the other person could eventually get hurt and is probably being hurt now? Is it right to hold on to something that you know in your heart of hearts is going to end eventually? Someone will get hurt, probably both someone’s. What’s fair and what’s right? I wish I knew.