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No Fair!

When there is a discrepancy among children, it’s almost inevitable to hear someone yell, “No fair!” A typical childlike response to what is probably a childlike dilemma.

Unfortunately, not all children grow up and many adults respond in kind. “It’s just not fair,” says a typical adult response. In the end – especially among adults – fairness is like beauty, it resides in the eye of the beholder. What may seem fair to you, may be egregiously unfair to me – and vice versa.

Perception is reality

This is true in all walks of life, in all countries, in business, in religion, among total strangers and even within families. Men, women. Black, white. Young, old. Sometimes life is just not fair. This can be true even at the highest levels of government.

After hearing his response to a question regarding a “farm bill,” a reporter followed up to President John F. Kennedy, “That’s not really fair to the farmers,” said the reporter. To which Kennedy replied, “Life’s not fair.”

Only the good die young. That’s not fair. That official’s bad call (or missed call) caused our team to lose the game. That’s not fair. Gasoline at $4.00 a gallon. That’s not fair. That girl turned me down for a date, only to go out with my best friend. That’s not fair. (In the long run maybe it is, but that’s another story for another day.)

It’s the new year and you can rest assured that some good things will happen to you this year, and some bad things will happen as well. Either way, it’s probably not fair. But who’s the final arbiter of fairness? No fair peeking.


“If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.” — Johnny Carson


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