Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Does fairness even exist?

I've been giving some thought today to the idea of "fairness." I started thinking about it when someone responded to something online with "In all fairness, I should be able to respond." I couldn't help but think - tough, life's not fair.

I think a lot of Xers don't believe in fairness. It's not that fairness is a bad thing - it's just not something that happens a lot. Other generations, at least to me, seem to expect fairness more than we do.

So I thought I'd get your input. How do you feel about fairness?


John Lucas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lucas said...

Fairness is a quality you can possess and offer to others, but it is not something you can ever expect to benefit from in life.

Angelia said...

I just had this dicussion with my 10 year old not long ago. Her father is big on "it's not fair", and she has picked that up from him. I try to instill in her that we make our own "fair". If little Suzie wins twice in a row, it's possible that she tried harder, that she trained more. It isn't about 'fair'. There isn't much that is 'fair' in the time. Like Mightythor said, it's a quality that can be offered-but nothing that should be expected.

Kristina said...

My mother always said, "When have I ever told you life was fair?"

It still took me a long time to learn it. I think kids of every generation are wedded to the idea of justice and it's a hard thing to pound out of somebody.

I'm more at peace, though, since I can accept the basic unfairness of the world. I'm less likely to burn up precious energy railing against something I can't change.

KateNonymous said...

I'm going to go with "yes and no." There are some things that should be fair. But the question is, what does fair mean? For me, this is like the idea that everyone is equal. Well, we aren't. There are factors that have nothing to do with "fair" or "equal," as Angelia points out.

On the other hand, if little Suzie wins twice as much because the coach likes her better and lets her play more, that's a different case.

Le said...

fair is all about perspective - usually your own ... or interpretation .. and you are right 'life's not fair' best le

Srsly Me said...

life ISN'T fair. We might expect fairness, and operate under the assumption (and you know what they say about the word "assume") that if we treat others fairly, we will be treated that way as well. Truth of the matter is, you can do the right thing and always be kind/fair to people in all your dealings, but it is no guarantee that you will be treated in like fashion.

You will NOT always be invited to every party.

You will NOT always win the award, even though you worked the hardest for it and are the most deserving.

You will NOT always save the day and get the girl (or guy).

You will NOT always be number one.

I don't think this means, though, that we should be eternal pessimists. I think mightythor sums it up nicely (paraphrasing): Fairness is a quality you can have and offer to others, but don't expect to personally benefit from fairness.

But don't let this turn you into a spiteful jerk.

Anonymous said...

What if we made the opposite assumption and wandered around expecting life to not work for us? What if we walked around, not assuming that life was a constant struggle, but that it's simply our own choice what we think of things? Just a thought -- and hey, it's my own. Is that fair? :) --Sushi Queen who's hungry.

Anonymous said...

It's something you may not worry about until the shoe is on the other foot...and it WILL be.

genxwords said...

Gen X'ers are a generation that has had the rug pulled out from us on more than one occasion. Rules change, they have several times in our years and we expect it. I don't think that means we are necessarily pessimists or that we somehow will bad things to come to us-we just expect rules to change, including the rules of what is fair and what isn't. We grew up in the 70's and 80's after all.

John Lucas said...

Nicely put Genxwords!

80sMom said...

Hey! I am so glad to have chanced upon your blog (am now following). I was wondering if you may be interested in trading links, as i have just started a list of 'Totally Tubular 80s and GenX Blogs', and yours definitely fits!

By the way, I don't think there is much fairness out there anymore. Everything is political now and backed by money. People play by different rules. And Yes, I do think it may be a hallmark of GenX to believe this way. It is probably a lot of what gives rise to the 'slacker' mentality we are known for.