In the first week we talked about fairness as it relates to good character. But it is such an important concept that it needs it’s own week. Fairness means that people receive exactly what they deserve, regardless of what others receive. Fairness is making sure all are treated with the kindness and respect they deserve. Being fair is one of the most important ingredients of being a good person. It is also key to making the world a more peaceful place.
As we discussed before, fair does not mean equal. Equal means that everyone receives the same thing. Fair means everyone receives what they deserve, earn, or need. Here is a good example: Ms. Thompson assigns a wax museum project. Tom works really hard on his project, researching it, planning out his script and costume, and practicing for hours in front of the mirror. Stacy puts no work into her project. She shows up the day of the project with no script, no costume, and only a vague understanding of who she is supposed to be depicting. Tom deserves an A on the project, while Stacy deserves an F. If Ms. Thompson grades them equally, they will both receive a C. If she grades them fairly, Tom will get an A and Stacy will get an F. That is why fairness is so much more important than something being equal.
Fairness is playing by the rules. Fairness is taking turns and sharing. Fairness means you avoid blaming others. Fairness means you will listen to the ideas of others. When it comes down to it, when you treat someone fairly you are treating them exactly like you would want to be treated in their situation.