Fairness begins with personal integrity

It is not unusual for any person to feel angry when they perceive that something is not fair and especially if they are the recipient of the short end of the decision. In fact, most anger comes from a feeling of not getting what we think we deserve or that someone else is not behaving in a fair way to us. Many are willing to call out “that’s not fair” anytime their needs are not met.

Angry feelings are a normal emotional reaction to having a goal blocked, or we are frustrated by what we perceive to be ‘not fair.’  This month we are considering what fairness is and so the question, does fairness mean that everyone gets the same. All of us can think of a time when we were left out or received less than others around, less attention, fewer accolades, less food. What are the factors that might play into fairness?

To begin with, we understand that every situation is different. Different circumstances, ages, needs to play a part in fairness and many times our point of view may even cloud our opinion. Let’s say there is a team chosen for a competition. Only five people can be on the team, based on the rules – but we want to be a part of that team. How could that decision be made and remain fair, even if some will not be able to go to the competition?

These may be some of the factors considered:

  • Talent
  • Age
  • Effort
  • Time to practice
  • Desire
  • Attitude
  • Favoritism

Which of these appear to be fair or unfair? How would you go about making these choices?

Teaching our children about fairness begins with our integrity to fairness and treating others according to what is needed, deserved and appropriate. There may be times that we give up our personal needs and wants for that of others because it is the right thing to do. When we remove our emotional desire and needs, we can be courageously decisive on the side of fairness.

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