Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fairness

I've just figured out our problem: fairness. Or, rather, the confused idea we perpetuate of what fairness really is.  

Here is how dictionary.com defines fair:
adjective, fair·er, fair·est.
1.free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
2.legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.
3.moderately large; ample: a fair income.
4.neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.
5.marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.
Somewhere along the way, the definition seems to have become:
noun, fair·ness.
1.treating two people or situations exactly the same, despite them being different
2.the unwarranted and unearned satisfaction of every envy, want, and desire that a person has had in the past, currently has, or could have in the future
3.entitlement
Fairness has become an object of worship within itself.  Look how we run our schools, our government, our workplaces, our marriages (in many cases), and any other interaction you can think of.


I went to school and received a degree in Early Childhood Education.  I don't use it professionally, but many things from that have stuck with me, and continue to have an impact on how I react to and see the world around me.  One specific phrase I picked up from a professor has always stayed in my mind, especially when it comes to dealing with people: "Being fair to students doesn't mean you give them all the same thing, it means you give them all what they need."

This idea of fairness being each of us receiving the same thing is nothing more than a testament to our own envies.  None of us need the same thing that everyone else has, so let's all agree to stop acting like we do.

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