Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fairness - the state, condition, or quality of being fair

Fairness - the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice, evenhandedness.

Around 30 years ago, when I was working at one of the bank trust departments that I worked in, one young associate told me that his mother would tell him and his brothers that "life isn't fair." It kind of surprised me because he came from what some people in the greater Cincinnati area would consider to be the most exclusive of places to live - the Village of Indian Hill. I guess if anyone else had told me that, and they had been raised in any number of the poorer neighborhoods inside Cincinnati, I might not have every given it a second thought or even remembered it to this day. The fact that a boy who was raised in one of the wealthiest villages in the United States, that made an impression on me. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with even a child being brought up in a wealthy area and attending one of the better school districts in the state, to know that "life isn't always fair" is a good thing to keep in mind.

I think most of us expect to be treated with fairness. That may not always be the case, but to go through life expecting the worst of people like our police, firefighters, teachers, doctors and lawyers, doesn't do much for me. I would like to start with the presumption that people treat people they way they want to be treated, justly and evenhanded. Society doesn't always live up to our expectations, but nevertheless, it is a worthwhile goal for each of us to pursue fairness in our lives for ourselves and others. That kind of attitude makes for a better society for us all. That is my opinion, what's yours?

Level Playing Field No. 2 by F.D. Zigler, oil on wood panel, 1994.

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