“That’s not fair!” Have you ever said that? Sure you have.

The real question is why? Did you actually think, for some reason, that life was going to be fair?

In case you’re still thinking that way, let me be the first to tell you, it’s not. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.

Still, don’t expect this to be some pessimistic, downhearted, cynical column complaining about our existence on this planet. It’s not.

But I am wondering if you can identify the first time you thought life might not be fair?

In second grade, I caught a swinging bat with my mouth on the playground while playing a quick game of baseball just before school started.

We’d just been told, days before, that if there were any more accidents on the playground we’d not be allowed to play anymore. So naturally, to save the game, I tried to hide my injuries from our teacher. But due to the sizeable blood flow, that proved to be impossible. To me, that situation was unfair.

Again, at the age of 8, while riding double with a cousin, I was thrown from a galloping horse and landed head first on hard pasture ground, where I was briefly rendered unconscious.

Immediately after gaining consciousness, I got up too quick and passed out again. Then I saw two of everything for the rest of that day and spent most of the next day throwing up.

They call that a concussion and, thanks to rodeo and other things, it would be the first of nine that I’d experience. They were all unfair.

Now-a-days, we continually hear people talk about karma. So I asked Mr. Dictionary what karma is and he said that it’s the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

There are future existences?

I thought karma had something to do with what goes around will come around or you get out what you put in. And yet it seems like a lot of good things happen to a lot of bad people. How do you explain that?

I’ve come to the conclusion that it can only be explained one way: You’ve got to watch the movie to the end. In the short term, it might look as though the bad guy wins. But in the end, he rarely does. Just ask Hitler.

Not only does the bad guy not win, but there is always a silver lining to each cloud.

My dad was in a very bad explosion when he was 50 years old and received third-degree burns over most of his body. At the time, he smoked cigarettes very heavily and wouldn’t be around today if he had continued that habit. But, in the midst of fighting for his life, he also quit smoking. And now, many years later, he’s closing in on the century mark with the attitude of a 50-year-old man. That’s the big picture.

So maybe rock star Rick Springfield said that and more when he said, “Karma is not just about the troubles, but also about surmounting them.”

Kevin Holten is the president of the North Dakota Cowboy Association and executive director of "Special Cowboy Moments" on RFD-TV.