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When I was a little kid, I used to hear people say the world is not fair, people will screw you over, nice guys finish last, you can’t succeed if you don’t step on other people.

I always had trouble with these statements. I thought they were coming from people who were tremendously insecure burdened with a sad mix of helplessness, low self worth, wavering confidence and no personal identity.

It was impossible for me to believe this reality. I saw a choice in what point of view I could follow. There were other voices I heard who steadfastly stuck to a different path of expectation of human nature. These were people who believed in the spirit of humanity, that fairness and reward comes to all who earn it with honesty, sincere attitude, ethics and a good day’s work. This made startlingly simple sense to me.

From that day on, I never considered the alternative outlook and always tried to persuade someone away from it who chose to believe they were right.

I have since learned that much is correct on both sides. There is unfairness all around and there is also honest reward. There is no simple formula I hoped could brighten a future nor was there any set actions that necessarily spelled doom or retribution. Who benefits or who suffers is not necessarily a result based on anything any of us does, or does not do.

There’s much more luck, timing, history and circumstance involved than anyone could ever possibly predict. Some of it is visible and we take our chances, secure in our personal powers, skills and positive outlook that things will be good. But much of it is hidden.

Much of what works for and against people is beyond anyone’s control, having nothing to do with their deliberate actions or behavior. These things that impact us originate negatively from other people’s insecurities, inabilities to cope, their sense of feeling threatened, paranoia, communication weaknesses and breakdowns. Other individuals impact us positively with inherent, or spontaneous behavior of good will, generosity, gracious acceptance, understanding, or belief in a benevolent power guiding them. All of us, separately, and as a mass are affected in alternating ways by all of these people many times during our lifetimes. This doesn’t even include the quirky twists of fate and fluke events of nature that can divert a life in an unplanned instant.

What is hidden is what we can’t know, can’t control, and can’t prepare for in any amount of expectation or anticipation. No matter what we think, or do in advance.