TW Peck's Weblog

random thoughts & perceptions on just about whatever strikes me fancy

Posts Tagged ‘fair’

Is it fair ?

Posted by twpeck on July 4, 2008

My youngest “son” (he is a step-son but I don’t think about him that way) just graduated from high school.

It was a rough journey for him. Not physically, but emotionally, and it is something that he still struggles with.

It is the concept of “fairness” and “unfairness”. His “fairness” struggle is over the fact that he comes from a divorced family. He has never stated so, but I have heard this in his voice: “Why did God let me come from a divorced family?” He has stated this verbally – “why did God allow my grandpa to die?”

We all struggle with this concept.

Now, the farther away one moves from someone, the less important “fairness” becomes.

If a friend receives a raw deal, then that is an outraged unfair. If it is neighbor, then that is an angry unfair. A news report on someone far off – it is a “too bad” or “that is sad” unfair.

So, fairness has a sense of locality. The closer something is to you, the more likely you are to have a concern about fairness or unfairness.

But the reality is that fairness is most important when it comes to our self, and, too often, we measure that not by an objective yardstick, but by how the results effect us.

Take taxes, for instance. There is this concept that it is “fair” for the rich to “pay their fair share” of taxes.

What is that and who is determining that? Well, we have tax “brackets” in what is called a “progressive” tax. This means that the higher one’s adjusted income, the more one pays.

So, is it really fair for “the rich” to pay more than a third of their adjusted income while those in the lowest pay none?

Personally, I am in the lower range of the tax bracket (I paid around 15% of my adjusted income), but I don’t see how it is any where close to “fair” that because someone works hard to advance at a job they should have to pay a larger percentage of their income than I do.

To be truly “fair”, though, means I am willing to sacrifice on my part. That might mean paying more taxes, giving up a right, or doing something that I don’t like (like cleaning the toilet – I use it, so why shouldn’t I clean it?).

Fairness, then begins with my self. Am I being fair to others? Is my fairness self-centered or centered on balancing the scale?

Bible thought for this entry:

Phillipians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

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