The Nobel Committee Doesn't Believe In Classical Conditioning; a.k.a. Life's Not Fair

Before you go getting on my case, I’m not criticizing the President. Hell, I’m not even mad at him for getting the Nobel Prize on Friday. I’m more upset at the fact that the Nobel Committee decided to give him the Prize based on presumed accomplishment, whereas so many others worked hard and could show their accomplishments before receiving their Nobel Prize. Don’t believe me? Go here and take a look at the other winners. Each of them obtained a prize for an accomplishment they did over the course of their lifetime.

This is totally stuff I can’t control, but I can at least share my feelings about it and the possible impact for children. Yes, that’s right, this is more about what we tell kids. I’m sure teachers after the Columbus Day break will be teaching kids about the Nobel Prize and what have you. Maybe they won’t, but with such a newsworthy piece, I’d be surprised if children didn’t learn about it.

And then disaster hits. You ask a child to do something first before they get the prize and you get the response, “Well, the President didn’t have to do anything, and he got the Nobel Prize.” At that point you can tell them they aren’t the President, but if they work hard, maybe they can become one someday.

I guess the problem here is again, something that is beyond our control. So it begs me to ask a question: What is a prize worth, and under what criterion does someone receive it?

My whole theraputic modality is around behavior modification with children, and encouraging parents to provide an incentive for good behavior. When stuff like this comes up, smart alec kids throw it in their parents’ face, defying parents’ interpretation of the “real world,”  because in that same world people get prizes even though they may not necessarily deserve it (and the President himself admitted this in his press conference, which I think is admirable).

However, this opens up another topic: Fairness. Now I’ve already gone on a tangent about this, but I think this is the reason why so many people are upset or amused about the President getting the award is because they think its not fair. Well, as my father still says…

“I’ve got a flash for you. Life isn’t fair.”

Is it fair that he got the prize for what they percieve he is going to do? No. Could he turn around and do the exact opposite of their perceptions? Yup. What are they gonna do? Take the prize back? Not likely. Is any of that fair? Nope.

But life isn’t fair, and the sooner I realized that, the less upset I got about it. I mean, how many things happen every day of our lives that really aren’t fair at all. We hear news stories and read the papers or listen to our radios, and we absorb all this information about the world we live in. Wealthy people get wealthier. Irresponsible banks get bailed out. People ignore their financial and family responsibilities. It happens all the time.

So I had to ask myself, what the heck am I whining about? Because life isn’t fair, and I need to get over it. And its OK that life isn’t fair, because as a self-proclaimed underdog, I should expect that some others have an unfair advantage. All the better when I beat the odds and accomplish something.

So I guess my message here is simple: Just accept it. Accept the fact that life isn’t fair, and that a guy who is already a millionaire got $1.4 Million for projected accomplishments. Get over it. It happens all the time, we just don’t see it because the news doesn’t report on that stuff.

Don’t let something like this get you down, and sure as heck don’t let it get you mad. I wasted a couple hours of my life getting upset over this, and that’s time I can’t get back. So this comes back to the WATER Method and separate the problems into what you can and can’t change.

Unfairness will always be there. Put in the pile of stuff you can’t change and get stuff you can change done!

P.S. – When the heck is Ross Geller going to get his Nobel Prize? The guy was whining about it Season 9, and he still didn’t get one.