Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fair or Fare?

My ex-boyfriend didn't leave me with much to hold on to after the demise of our relationship on no less than four different occasions. However, there was one little gem that he often repeated that I carry with me to this day. I suppose he heard it from his step-dad ( a no-good abusive SOB) but I think he relayed it to me because he recognized my innate sense of fairness and subsequent constant disappointment in the human race for the lack of fairness I witnessed every day. Whenever I was expressing my passionate outrage at whatever injustice I had witnessed, usually punctuated with something about "fairness", he would say..."Fair (fare) is what you pay to get on the bus."

The first time he said it, I was annoyed but upon reflection I had to admit he was right. There is no such thing as true fairness. It is nearly impossible for most people to leave their personal prejudices out of the equation when evaluating the "fair" thing to do. It takes a lot more effort than most people are willing to invest to consider all sides of a situation. We like to say that there are "two sides to every story" but really most situations are multi-dimensional and upon examination are deeper and more complex than anything you can see on the surface.

It is something that I still have to learn to accept on a daily is not fair, people are not fair and there is little you can do to change that. So what's a fair-minded girl like me to do...besides rant and rave and give myself a headache?

I've opted to embrace a well-known phrase as my antidote to unfairness..."do unto others as you would have them do unto you". I can't change other people but I can try to reflect what I want to see in others through setting my own example. It may not change the world but I have to believe that the point of view I have to offer may help someone to think of fair as more than what they pay to get on the bus.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.