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Campus Media Response: Thank Goodness Life is Fair

Drawing the line on study drug morality
The Yale Herald
Yale University

In your article, “Drawing the line on study drug morality,” the idea that “life isn’t fair” is often mentioned with regard to differences of intelligence, money, attention capacity, etc. If the simple fact of disparity is unfair, what then would constitute a fair life? What kind of equality would produce a just world? The implicit ideal in the “life isn’t fair” mantra is the idolization of equal condition. In effect, it expresses longing for a suffocating uniformity of mind, body and soul. Certainly, once identified, there are few people who would desire this kind of existence. Yet, worse than the dystopian “ideal” advocated by the “life isn’t fair” attitude is the fact that such a perspective disregards the importance of individual choice. Anyone who graduates from Yale arguably has a tremendous advantage upon entering the world and many alumni do indeed achieve true greatness. Yet, for all the great men and women who have obtained such a highly regarded education there are still more, now forgotten by history, who have fallen into obscurity. We can look at these two groups, the successful and the unsuccessful, and see that the members of each graduated with equal credentials and received the same quality of education. We can see that among the graduates of Yale are those who chose to take the road less traveled and those who chose the comfort and anonymity of the familiar. Merely being intelligent or having a certain education or coming from specific economic conditions does not determine the success or failure of one’s life—and the belief that these facts are determinant is paralyzing. Consequently, it is crucially important for one to recognize that individual choices eclipse the conditions from which one arises. How else can one feel driven to overcome obstacles? How else can one feel pride for having triumphed?

Amanda Stevenson

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