What You Deserve by Breanna Ladiski

What You Deserve by Breanna Ladiski

Staff and Staff

In seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs.Willbanks, told my class something about fairness that I will never forget. She said, “fairness does not mean that everyone gets the same thing. It means that everyone gets what they need.” When I first heard this I thought I understood what she meant, though now I have realized that I did not. A new experience taught me that I did not understand what Mrs.Willbanks had said. This experience also made me realize that fairness can also mean that everyone gets what they deserve. It was later that year that I experienced something that would change how I thought about fairness. It all began when my younger sister got a solo for dance.

My sister and I had been dancing for many years prior to this. I had been dancing for nine years, and my sister had been dancing for seven. That year, we went to register for dance and my younger sister, Brooke, was the only one to sign up for the clogging class our dance studio was offering. She had clogged before and was very excited about signing up. At first my sister and our dance instructor thought another girl was going to sign up. Unfortunately, that girl was unable to, so Brooke was the only one in the class. Though I should have realized it, I was not thinking that that meant she was going to end up having a solo. I was in the room when my instructor delivered the news to Brooke. Our instructor plainly stated,“looks like you are going to have a solo.” “Okay,” My sister replied though she looked quite nervous. When I heard this jealousy ripped through me. I thought, Why did my younger sister get a solo before I did? That’s not fair. I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that it was not my sister’s fault that she was receiving a solo.

Whenever anyone brought up the topic of my sister’s solo, I would try to play it off and act like I was extremely happy for her, though in reality, I was very jealous. My response would be to laugh it off and say that I was very excited for her but inside, thoughts were boiling on how it was not fair that I had never had a solo and she was getting one even though she was younger than I was. I was lucky that no one ever asked me directly if I was upset by Brooke receiving a solo so I never had to answer that question. When my sister would bring up the subject I would joke around with her. I would say things like “I am so jealous” in a very sarcastic tone. My sister would think I was joking, and she would joke right back, Brooke did not know that I was not joking at all. She may have been able to tell I was resentful but she did not know just how jealous I really was. There would be instances when my sister would say she was nervous. I would tell her she was going to do just fine but in my head I would think you are so lucky you should not be nervous.

The date of the recital was approaching and I was still really jealous. Brooke’s dance was completely finished, and she’d practiced it many times. She had been working very hard to get ready for the performance. When the day of the recital arrived there was too much activity around for me to realize I was jealous, but it was lurking deep down inside. The only problem was that Brooke kept bringing up her solo and a pang of jealousy would hit me.

“I am so nervous,” Brooke would say at random, “I feel like I am going to mess up and fall on stage.” “You are going to do just fine,” I replied, “ think of how many times you have practiced this. You could do it in your sleep.” In my head thoughts were reeling. I could not believe she was complaining to me. I could not stop myself from thinking how lucky she was. I guess you could say I was green with envy and there was no way to stop it.

We arrived at the location for the recital and we waited. When the recital began, time seemed to fly. I felt like it had only been a few minutes and then it was time for Brooke’s solo. I was backstage when the dance began and I watched in amazement as my sister preformed. I could not believe how fantastic the dance really was. As I stood there, I realized that I was not jealous at all, I was just completely and utterly proud. As she finished the dance, the crowd erupted with thunderous applause and I joined in. It was then when I realized that she had deserved that solo. She had worked hard to make it look so great.

This experience taught me my lesson that I really needed to learn. The lesson was that fairness can be deserved by hard work. I have now realized that it was completely fair for Brooke to get a solo. It had not been my sister’s fault that she had received a solo and it was extremely unfair of me to be so jealous. I eventually told my sister how jealous I had been, and how bad I felt about feeling that way. I also told her that I was over it and made sure she believed me. I am lucky enough to have a sister who was able to forgive me. Though I wish it had never happened, I am glad I had this experience because it taught me that fairness really is not everyone getting the same thing, it is everyone getting what they need and deserve. I had finally understood what I had been taught about fairness.