What is fair

What does it mean to be fair? How do you make sure to treat the people in your life fairly?

In accordance with the rules or standards; free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.

Most people don’t use the word “fair” correctly. When many people complain that something is not fair, what they really are complaining about is that something is not equal. They want what others have and it’s not faaaaiiiirrr that they don’t get that too.

Here’s a good example. Let’s pretend that you have two kids (maybe you really do, I don’t know). They’re old enough, so you tell them to sit quietly while you run out to check the mail or pop over to the neighbor’s for a cup of sugar. However, once you leave, one kid starts jumping in the couch and coloring on the walls, while the second one just grabs a book and quietly reads.

Now, how do you react when you get back in the house? You want treat your kids fairly, right? Would you scream at both kids about the ruined walls? Would you bring both kids out for ice cream?

Being fair would be to praise or reward the one for being a good kid, and to punish the bad kid. This is in accordance with your rules for good and bad behavior from your kids… you reward the good behavior and punish the bad. Sounds fair, right?

But if you go off of what most people mean when they talk about being fair… which means equal treatment no matter what the behavior, you would be rewarding both of them regardless of their behavior (or on the other side of the coin, punishing both kids for the bad behavior of one). Tell me… how is that fair?

So next time someone whines about how something isn’t faaaaiiiirrr… tell them…

“The most unfair thing of all is giving equal treatment to unequal people.”