Last time we looked out what your civic duty is to your community and yourself. Today, I thought it would be interesting to look at fairness and justice. Is there a difference?
I often hear, ‘it isn’t fair.’ Hell, I even think it from time to time. And typically, when I hear it, I agree. It’s not fair that you can’t eat the way you want and have six-pack abs. It’s not fair that you can’t spend however you like and not run up your debt. Just like it’s not fair you cannot behave without consequence.
What does FAIR have to do with justice?
Here are the definitions per Merriam-Webster:
1. Marked by impartiality and honesty: free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism
2. Not very good or very bad: of average or acceptable quality
3. Not stormy or foul: FINE
4. Not dark
5. Pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming of flawless quality
6. Superficially pleasing: SPECIOUS
7. Clean, pure, clear, legible
9. Promising, likely: favorable to a ship’s course
10. Being such to the utmost: UTTER
1. The maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments
b. The administration of law
2. The quality of being just impartial or fair: the principle of ideal of dealing or right action
a. Conformity to this principle or ideal: RIGHTEOUSNESS
b. The quality of conforming to law
3. Conformity to truth, fact or reason: CORRECTNESS
What is interesting to me about the definition of fair is that it is not typically used that way. You know that people have a tendency to use that word to mean that it is right, just or just plain the way we want it.
In a world full of grey…
While you may not always (or even often) get what you want, if we go by this definition of fair… Things are probably more fair that we would often like to admit, even though we don’t always get our way.
At the urging of a client, I read, “The Four Agreements.” (If you have some time it is a short and thoughtful read.) The central premise of the book is that we create our own reality. If we have determined that things are ‘not fair’ or unjust, then it is our perception that has determined this.
I would like to go a step further
In a time where it is easy to point and say this is good or bad, what can you do to make it better? While social media can be powerful, I do not think that posting an article online is as powerful as action in the world. You don’t like the homelessness in your area? What can you do about it?
You don’t like what teachers are paid? What action can you take?
Perhaps what is truly fair, is to put action behind the things that really stir us up, instead of sitting down, folding our arms and engaging in self pity because we didn’t get our way.
I found this quote and wanted to share it with you:
“Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.”
How do you inhabit your beloved extended community?
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!