Life’s unfairness brings life lessons in morality

“Life isn’t sunshine, rainbows and butterflies where everything is given to you for free.” 

This is a quote that the tipsy, late night, freshman in college version of me told a random college kid at the eatery in our dorm complex after he ripped out a piece of his hair and placed it in his nearly finished burger. 

He wanted another one for free. 

After working my tail off inside restaurants since I was 15-years-old, I dealt with plenty of kids like him. He wasn’t homeless, broke or starving. He was a boy well on his way to his freshman-15 with long enough hair to frame his scheme and a large enough ego to drive his motivation.

Of course, he got his priceless burger. 

Maybe I shouldn’t have been so upset about a kid I never saw again, failing to pay $7 for his food. It didn’t affect me. I paid for my meal. 

However, whether it was a $7 burger or the entire supply, a price tag wasn’t my issue. It was the principal of the activity. 

Initially, I was upset about life’s unfairness. How did this boy have the ability to live the life he wanted without a fear of karma, yet I grew anxious if I forgot to scan a bag at self-checkout?

Reflecting on my blow up almost 4 years later, I realized his morality is what truly irked me.

His ability to jab a finger in someone else’s face and accuse them of poisoning a meal with a hair follicle — one of which belonged to his own head. He thought about himself, not about the worker’s boss potentially jabbing a finger at them later on. 

In today’s society, we see a lot of people like him. Some may refer to them as “Karens.” Others simply call them, “selfish.” Concisely, it is the ability to use another’s loss for one’s own gain. 

So what are we supposed to do about it?

We don’t have control over anybody else but ourselves. Alternatively, we do have control over what we can say and do for others. We can use our tools and tongue to stick up for those who can’t. 

Not everyone will listen, some might cackle at an attempt to distinguish their flame, but one small act can result in a larger impact. 

Maybe it’s sprinkling positivity and uplifting compliments to other humans in the world. Maybe it’s quietly cleaning up a space someone else destroyed. Maybe it’s abruptly yelling at a dorm eatery thief, “Life isn’t sunshine, rainbows and butterflies where everything is given to you for free.”

Whatever it is, heading the right way the moral compass guides us to is a practice we can continue to hike toward.

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at

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