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Do you ever wonder why people’s lives are so different?

(155 Posts)
Daddima Mon 10-Jun-19 13:51:26

My friend and I have always wondered about the hand some people are dealt in life. We had neighbours, both professional people, whose parents lived nearby and died at a ripe old age after full and active lives. Their three children ( all lovely people) became ‘ professionals’, married ‘ suitable’ people, and the grandchildren seemed to be in the same mould. There would be no money worries.
On the other hand, another friend’s mother’s two husbands died, as did two children under 5 and two adult children. There was also a devastating house fire.Money was a constant worry.
Couple 1 were a good Christian couple, always helping others ( and lovely people also). We first wondered if the good work, selflessly done, could be a reason, but other really good people have had hard lives. Reincarnation, maybe, or just the luck of the draw?

Calendargirl Mon 10-Jun-19 14:01:23

Yes, I suppose some people seem to have it all, and others not. Part of life’s rich tapestry.
A good education hopefully leads to a “good” job, which in turn probably pays well, meaning a better standard of living. This in turn enables children to benefit also and so it goes on.
Doesn’t mean that’s all that matters though.
Going back to a better standard of living- healthier food options, and money to help pay for treatments etc. if needed all contribute to a longer and healthier old age.

gillybob Mon 10-Jun-19 14:05:00

It probably starts with a bit of luck (right time, right place) but then it becomes quite obvious how successive generations benefit. Money is passed down, no money worries, decent food, medical care, good housing, education etc.

We don't all start at the same starting line in this race of life.

Eglantine21 Mon 10-Jun-19 14:14:43

Life is not fair or just. Everything we have hangs by a hair’s breadth.

Unfortunately your last paragraph shows why some “lucky” people are also unbearably smug and judgemental about those who have difficult lives.

And why some people who have led good lives are utterly stunned when misfortune happens to them and will say “I don’t deserve this”

Sometimes our misfortunes are the result of our action, sometimes the result of other people’s actions and sometimes just the randomness of life.

Elvive Mon 10-Jun-19 14:18:05

I do think a wad of money early on and subsequent wads at key times could have made a difference to me, especially as it is available but being with held.

Never mind, I will never know and it is absolutely nothing compared to losing children or a partner.

Ilovecheese Mon 10-Jun-19 14:23:18

I expect that the people who do well and have trouble free lives believe that it is because they are better people, and the people that have not done so well think otherwise.

Daddima Mon 10-Jun-19 14:24:43

Sorry, Eglantine, I’m not seeing what’s smug or judgemental in my last paragraph. I know the family I’m talking about would never be in the least bit smug or judgemental.

gillybob Mon 10-Jun-19 14:32:53

Being "well off" doesn't make someone a better, or nicer person it just makes someone very fortunate.

Eglantine21 Mon 10-Jun-19 14:33:11

Well, quite a lot of bad things that happen to people are random or the result of things that are not their fault. How good or kind or generous they have been has no bearing on whether they get cancer, are involved in an accident or get killed by a bomb.

But those whose lives run without any misfortune are prone to think that somehow they have “earned” that, whether because they have been “blessed” or “karma” has given them what they deserve.

Obviously in some way they are more “worthy” of a good life. Most would deny feeling that way,but secretly they do.

paddyann Mon 10-Jun-19 14:34:25

surely the "good christian" has good life attitude is what causes all sorts of problems .People go to church to book a place in a"heaven" that probably doesn't exist and think it will give than a head start on earth.I know many many good people who work hard for their families and communities and who have had to overcome the most horrendous tragedies and episodes in their lives.Money may help if the issue is easily solved BY money but health and outside influences cant be controlled by having or not having a wad of cash in the bank.Thats a bit simplistic .Were couple two in your post NOT good christians or good people ...did they "deserve" the bad things that happened to them ?

Eglantine21 Mon 10-Jun-19 14:38:29

Actually the good Christian people might reflect on what Jesus had to say about random misfortune and whether people deserved it.

KatyK Mon 10-Jun-19 14:42:28

A good upbringing is important, which I never had. After that, lots of things are random. We are all fragile. No one is exempt from cancer for instance. I have a friend whose husband has cancer (as does mine). She is forever saying 'its not fair. Why him.?' She has never had any trouble in her life, unlike us. My DH is more likely to say 'why not me?'

Daddima Mon 10-Jun-19 14:46:52

Woman 2 was a very good woman, and nobody would ever have disputed that. I have no idea what the answer is, I just think it is strange. I see what you are saying about money, but, as pointed out, no amount of money protects against illness or tragedy.

Daddima Mon 10-Jun-19 14:52:46

Strangely enough, Katy, I once asked my friend’s mum if she never asked, “ Why me?” Her reply was, “ Well, who else will I wish it on? God will never send me more than I can bear”.

( Reminds me of a saying of my granny’s, “ The old dog for the hard road, and the pup for the pavement”.)

Sara65 Mon 10-Jun-19 15:09:19

We have very close friends, who early on in their marriage seemed to have it all, he was the only son of a prosperous businessman, she had a good job. They had the first home many of us could never imagine owning, nice cars, the package

But terrible things just kept happening to them, endless life changing things

Now in their sixties, they’ve had terrible personal tragedies, lost their business, and live in a small house

They are lovely, and don’t deserve it.

Is this just bad luck?

3dognight Mon 10-Jun-19 15:10:11

I would like to answer your post but not sure what you are trying to get across...

Is it just that life is abit of a lottery?

Is it that if you live a 'a good Christian life' then things may pan out better? And you can if you want be smug about it?

I just explain it like this. When one door closes, another opens.....though what is behind it no-one knows...

Expect the unexpected.

Everyday is a bonus!

Sara65 Mon 10-Jun-19 15:22:24

Well I suppose life is a lottery, some things are in your control, but a lot of things aren’t!

Many people certainly don’t deserve the hand life deals them

Luckygirl Mon 10-Jun-19 15:26:15

I don't really wonder about this. Basic fact: life is not fair!

varian Mon 10-Jun-19 15:33:50

The late Paddy Ashdown entitled his 2009 autobiography "A Fortunate Life", but having good fortune did not mean that he did not experience difficulties or tragedy, and it certainly never stopped him from working tremendously hard in so many different walks of life.

To some extent what we get out of life must depend on what we put in, but there will always be a big element of luck.

Anniebach Mon 10-Jun-19 15:44:31

What nonsense , those who go to Church and those who don’t. Makes no difference.

I have four siblings, same upbringing, we all married into
local families . Four went to the same school, I went to a different school, this is the only difference between us

My siblings are in long, stable, happy marriages, have comfortable retirement, own their homes, I am single, live in council accommodation .

I am not, simply because of a car crash 43 years ago .

Four of us have two children, one has three,

I didn’t have a life like my sisters, I was a one parent family .

I had two children, one has a very comfortable lifestyle, one
.is dead .

Nothing to do with birth, education, wealth, faith , should I weep and say ‘why me, why not one of my sisters ? No way,
I agree with Katy’s husband , why not me

Anyone who thinks or claims going to Church is to secure a place in heaven or have a comfortable life talks rubbish . Be

Waste of time looking for an answer , being envious of those
who have more only makes one bitter .

Life happens, fact , so smugness , envy, self pity is a waste of energy.

Elegran Mon 10-Jun-19 15:45:00

If you were to go into your garden and throw a handful of seeds into the air, would you expect them to fall in an even layer over the ground? No. Some patches would be more or less even, but some would be in clumps and other parts of the ground would be bare.

That is what happens to "good" and "bad" things in people's lives. Some people get all good, some all bad, with most people getting a mixture. It doesn't matter whether they deserve better or worse, what they get is random.

How they react varies too. Some people are quick to complain when things go wrong, others quick to be glad when things go right, and we may hear more from some people about how they are always having bad luck than we hear the selfsame people telling us of the good things that have happened to them.

sodapop Mon 10-Jun-19 16:00:38

I agree with varian mainly we get out of life what we put in but there are elements of chance and luck.

M0nica Mon 10-Jun-19 16:08:33

People go to church to book a place in a"heaven" that probably doesn't exist and think it will give than a head start on earth. really? None of them go to any of the churches I have ever attended.

I think the answer is probably mathematical and embedded in the law of probability. Every tiniest decision in our life to a considerable extent is decided by a throw of a dice and the decisions that affect it can be tiny.

If on the day my sister was knocked off her bike and killed, she had left home 10 or 20 seconds earlier or later she would not have been were she was when that lorry turned out and didn't see her, or perhaps if the lorry had been earlier or later, or her bike hadn't been loaded with heavy files from the previous days meeting, had the meeting been a day earlier - or later.

The only thing an individual has any control over is how they respond to what happens to them. Some years ago I knew two elderly ladies from the same day centre, both had medical problems resulting in one leg being amputated above the knee. One threw the towel in, decided her life was ruined, went into a care home and died six months later. Three months later the other was back home, out of her wheel chair and no longer needed carers several times a day because she had a new leg, was walking on it and was telling me that at her next physiotherapy session she was going to start on climbing stairs. She lived in a bungalow without a step in sight.

The difference was their attitude when something knocked them back. One just gave up, one came back determined to resume her active life as soon as possible.

Daddima Mon 10-Jun-19 16:14:33

Nowhere did I suggest that your hand in life had anything to do with church going, nor did I suggest that smugness could sometimes be justified, and all I was ‘ trying to get across’ was that I wondered why it should be so. I’m beginning to think it’s not worth trying to have a discussion, as you’ve to watch how you word every sentence.

KatyK Mon 10-Jun-19 16:14:55

When I was young I used to think why me? But surely life teaches you something. Do you remember on Christmas morning they showed on TV a celeb visiting a children's cancer ward? All those sick children with no hair. I was newly married and used to watch thinking how awful for 'those people'. It was inconceivable that this would ever enter my world, until it did and my nephew contracted leukaemia and subsequently died. I visited one of those wards almost daily for two years. His father, my brother, has never said why me even when, a few years later his wife collapsed and died age 49.