FAIRNESS

Some say life isn't fair.  It's up to us to do our part to make it fair for those around us. 

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FAIR ≠ EQUAL

FAIR = EQUITABLE

FAIRNESS…what is it?

 

Essentially, fairness is a desirable character trait whereby those deemed “fair” treat others equitably, but not necessarily equally.

 

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

 

People who are fair examine a situation, and try their best to make the situation as positive/beneficial as possible for all involved.  Being fair means making sure that everyone gets what they need, rather than making sure everyone gets the same thing.

 

A couple of examples:

 

…at home…

 

Your parents win some money and buy your brother a piano, but tell you that they have put $5000 into your college fund.  You’re feeling a little slighted because you didn’t get a big gift.

 

A piano is of no use to you, since you neither play, nor have a desire to do so, whereas playing piano means everything to your brother.  However, you are planning on going to college.  You parents were fair by examining what they thought you and your brother would benefit from most, and acting on it.

 

…at school…

 

You overhear your teacher telling your classmate Missy that she can have an extra 15 minutes during lunch to complete the test that just ended.  You’re a little perturbed because you don’t think it’s fair that she gets extra time, when everyone else finished the test during class.

 

Ultimately, the extra 15 minutes is not likely to give Missy an advantage over anyone on the test.  If she studied and knows the material, the extra time will simply allow her to complete the test.  If she did not study or does not know the material, the extra time isn’t really going to help her mark.  What you don’t know about Missy is that she has a really hard time writing, and takes longer than most people to put her thoughts on paper.  Thus, the extra 15 minutes is fair.

SO…WHAT’S THE PAYOFF FOR BEING FAIR?

 

People who are fair are generally respected and trusted by others.  Plus, doling out fair treatment is more likely to get you the same treatment in return.  Lastly, being fair just feels good, because it’s the right thing to do!

 

IS IT EASY TO DO?

 

Sometimes, yes.  Splitting a chocolate bar in two even-sized pieces or spending the same amount of money on birthday gifts for two different friends are pretty easy to do.

 

Sometimes, being fair is a little tougher to manage, though. 

 

Consider a time when you may have heard some negative gossip about someone, and were tempted to believe it.  Did you consider that it could be untrue?  Did you seek the truth by talking to the person mentioned in the gossip?  OR did you just believe the gossip and let it affect how you felt abut the person involved?  Think about it.  Were you fair?

 

Maybe you have a teacher who has given you detentions or sent you to the office one or twelve times (lol).  How do you handle that?    Do you consider that perhaps you deserved the detentions or office visits due to your poor behaviour?  OR Do you decide to avenge yourself by continually disrupting class and refusing to do work?  Really, which one is fair??

 
SUMMING IT UP

 
We’ve all heard the expression, “life isn’t fair,” and unfortunately, it is often true.  However, the more people who strive to be fair, the better things will be for everyone!