July 8, 2016

“Life is unfair…”

John F Kennedy life is unfair quote


“Life is unfair.”
       President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
       American Democratic politician who served as the 35th President of the United States       
       This famous pithy quote comes from comments Kennedy made in a press conference on March 21, 1962. It’s one of JFK’s most widely-cited quotations, though few people today are aware of the context. It was part of his response to a question about U.S. Army reservists who had publicly objected to being called up to serve as “military advisors” in Vietnam. Kennedy had recently increased the American military presence in Vietnam to nearly 10,000 troops. Some reservists had expressed their opposition by holding public demonstrations.
       When asked about those protests, Kennedy responded: “Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. It’s very hard in military or in personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.”
       For more background see the entry about this quote on my ThisDayinQuotes.com site and Garson O’Toole’s post about it on his great QuoteInvestigator.com site.



“There’s a difference between the fact that the universe is inherently unfair on a cosmic level, and the fact that life is unfair because people are actively making it so.”
       John Scalzi
       American science fiction author 
       A comment Scalzi made in a post on his blog about homophobia. As he notes in the next sentence in that post: “There’s not much one can do about the former, but the latter is fixable.”

Steve Maraboli


“The only thing that makes life unfair is the delusion that it should be fair.”
       Steve Maraboli
       American behavioral scientist, motivational speaker and author 
       From his book Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience



“Life is unfair but remember sometimes it is unfair in your favor.”
       Attributed to Peter Ustinov (1921-2004)
       British actor and writer 
       This quip is attributed to Ustinov by hundreds of posts on the Internet, but none that I found gave any source. If you can confirm that it’s a real quote by Ustinov and know the source, please shoot me an email and let me know.

Rob Lowe autobiography


“Nothing in life is unfair. It’s just life.”
       Rob Lowe
       American actor
       In his autobiography Stories I Only Tell My Friends



“At her death the world looked for villains. It found only the troubling truths that life is unfair and cruel, that we see human despair too late, that courage is not always enough.” 
       From the narration for the classic 1966 documentary film The Legend of Marilyn Monroe, produced shortly after Marilyn’s death.
       Script by Theodore Strauss and Terry Sanders (who also directed the film). Actor John Huston is the narrator.

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