TW Peck's Weblog

random thoughts & perceptions on just about whatever strikes me fancy

Posts Tagged ‘fairness’

Mistakes I made in ’08

Posted by twpeck on January 10, 2009

The end of the year is a time of retrospect and looking forward and blah, blah, blah.

Let’s face it.  No one really wants to think about their mistakes, errors, failures, and “on-purposes”.  We like to believe, and maybe some of think, that we are good people.

Ask most people and they will say something like – “I’m a good person even though I…” 

I think that comes from our inherent desire to be balanced.  Experts always talk about how good it is to be balanced – in our investments, in our work-home time, in our rest-activity.  It is a logical step to put that in our moral life and to start to look at this as a scale.

OK – I watched a little porn but then I shoveled the neighbors driveway.  I lied to my wife about why I was late (it wasn’t a train or traffic or an accident, I was just thoughtless) but I played with the kids.  I stole some pads from work but I put a dollar in the Salvation Army pot at Walmart.

We have a local case here in Saginaw where a woman who was convicted of drug-dealing and escaped from prison, was captured a number of years later out on the coast where she was now a middle-class wife/mother and doing no harm.  She might have even been doing some good like being active in the PTA .  The watercooler discussion is “should she go back to prision”?  

My daughter has moved out of her Hannah Montana phase, but there was a song she played that had this recurring line “Everyone makes mistakes”.  That is true, but it does not exonerate or excuse.  My mom used to say “if everyone were jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?”

I never told her this but at times I have jumped off that cliff, and on the way down I yelled “but everyone else…”

So, I am trying not to yell “but everyone else” because doing what we are supposed to do does not make up for doing what we failed to do. Recognizing that we did wrong and what flaw in our character allowed for that, and then resolving to address that character flaw, will help.

So here’s my list of what “mistakes” I made in ’08

  1. I did not trust God enough
  2. I did not repent enough
  3. I did not love others more than myself enough.

You really didn’t think I would be tranparent enough to give the specifics?

Hmmm – guess I’ll have transparency to next year’s list.


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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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