I hear that phrase almost every day while I'm sitting at my desk working - my front porch and yard seems to be the gathering place of choice for the neighborhood kids and they are all about the fairness.
No, I don't have children....but they have me. My upstairs neighbor has a 6 year old and the 'hood' (I mean that literally) that I live in is full of youngsters. My yard and porch are their playground of choice. I don't mind...I love hearing them laugh and play (even though they do occassionally sound like a zoo full of howler monkeys in full voice). As long as they obey my rules (1- Be kind to one another 2- no hitting or killing each other..it makes a mess and I don't want to clean it up 3- no name calling and 4 - pick up after yourselves) it's a mutually beneficial arraingement.
I was working (a state that I pretty much stay in) yesterday when I overheard my little neighbor complaining very loudly about the manifest unfairness of one of her playmates.
Ari and ZuZu( and yes..the child's middle name is Petals...I shit thee not) were arguing over a trinket.
Ari had given ZuZu said trinket a couple of weeks ago and wanted it back. ZuZu said no. Ari pointed out that it was really her trinket and that if she didn't get it back that she'd be in big trouble because her Mama was asking about said item. Zuzu said that she'd given ZayZay ( what?! I swear to god I don't make these names up!)the trinket in exchange for a trip down the hill in his new ride (a shopping cart tricked out with cars and streamers)At which point Ariana burst out with the "that's not fair!" Zuzu paused to think about it for a moment then said " Sure is fair! it was mine...so I could do whatever I want with it. It's all on you if you get into trouble"
That got me thinking about the nature of fairness
How many times a day do you say or think "that's not fair"
I do it all the time..because..hey..face it..life's not fair.
Can you imagine what it would be like if it were?
On one hand I'm practically drooling at that scenario, on the other....I look at the amount of grace that various friends and I have recieved and am profoundly grateful for some of that lack of fairness.
To be fair...hmm interesting choice of word
I suppose I should pick up Ms.Dictionary and define fairness and then break it down.
fair 1 (fâr)
adj. fair·er, fair·est
1. Of pleasing appearance, especially because of a pure or fresh quality; comely.
Hmmm.. that sounds rather nice. I mean..who doesn't want things to be pure fresh and comely...of course then you get into the question of who gets to define what's comely
2.a. Light in color, especially blond: fair hair.b. Of light complexion: fair skin.
Okay..now that doesn't sound good at all....not that I have anything against pale blonds I just prefer things the way they are with all the wonderful variety. Can you imagine a world filled with nothing but pale skinned light haired people? It would be like visual custard.
3. Free of clouds or storms; clear and sunny: fair skies.
That'd be nice for a few days...but without the rainy days we'd die out pretty quickly..imagine nothing but sun day after day after day. No snow angels, no amazing storms, no rainbows, no cloud animals - no....I don't think I'd like that at all.
4. Free of blemishes or stains; clean and pure
Okay, we're back to custard. Now I like custard..but all custard...all the time?
5. Promising; likely: We're in a fair way to succeed.
That one's not so bad. but if it's always fair... as in you're always likely to succeed...wouldn't some of the joy go out of the success?
a. Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favoritism or bias; impartial: a fair mediator.
b. Just to all parties; equitable: a compromise that is fair to both factions.
I like that definition! even though there are times when I really do WANT there to be bias, I mean who doesn't like having things go their way? But..can you imagine if the world and powers that be were equitable to all? that would be a marvel.
Synonyms: just, equitable, impartial, unprejudiced, unbiased, objective, dispassionate
These adjectives mean free from favoritism, self-interest, or preference in judgment.
Just stresses conformity with what is legally or ethically right or proper: "a just and lasting peace" (Abraham Lincoln).
Equitable implies justice dictated by reason, conscience, and a natural sense of what is fair: an equitable distribution of gifts among the children.
Impartial emphasizes lack of favoritism: "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" (Edmund Burke).
Unprejudiced means without preconceived opinions or judgments: an unprejudiced evaluation of the proposal.
Unbiased implies absence of a preference or partiality: gave an unbiased account of her family problems.
Objective implies detachment that permits impersonal observation and judgment: an objective jury.
hmmm can we pick an choose which meanings of Fair we want to apply?
Life's like that.
Life isn't fair...
If life were fair I have friends who would be dead 20 times over because they've done some stupid shit and in all fairness should have paid the full measure of consequences for it.
....I'm glad they didn't
Hell..by that token I'm pretty glad that life isn't fair for me - otherwise things might be much much worse. I'm by no means Atilla the hun but if I'd gotten my just deserts a time or two I assure you I wouldn't be sitting here typing out this blog.
Sometimes I'm profoundly grateful for life not being fair.