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Not Fair

November 13, 2018 - Amy Phelps
It may come as a shock to some people, but life isn’t fair. You may work hard and not get that promotion or win the award. It happens. That’s life. Along those lines, fair, also doesn’t mean equal. Fair, as most people use the word, means “without achieving unjust advantage” according to the dictionary. Equal means “being the same in quantity, size, degree or value.” Kids like to claim parents aren’t being “fair” when an older sibling gets to stay up later, gets a new pair of shoes or gets to spend time one-on-one watching a T.V. show with a parent. Fair doesn’t mean exactly the same, and fair may mean different things to different families. Parents shouldn’t let everyone stay up until 11 or buy everyone a new pair of shoes or never spend one-on-one time with anyone to avoid not being “fair.” Instead, fair may mean when a younger sibling is the oldest sibling’s age, they will get to stay up to 11. It may mean pointing out that when they lost their coat, they got a new one, and their sibling didn’t get anything. It may mean scheduling one-on-one time with everyone, or it may mean pointing out that the fairness-seeking child doesn’t like the T.V. show, but they do play games with their parent. I overheard a conversation today of an adult complaining to another, “how can we teach kids to be fair when adults can’t be?” The complaining adult didn’t really want things to be fair, they already were, she wanted things to be equal — exactly the same. All too often, that isn’t going to happen, and sometimes if everything were exactly the same, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone.


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