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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fairness vs. Kindness

We had an interesting conversation over the breakfast table this morning.

Is fairness important?

My husband was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about a group of men who stole hundreds of millions of dollars, yet are being fined only a tiny portion of that amount, despite being found guilty. Without question, this is not fair to the poor misled investors who lost their assets.
But, how does that play out in our house?
At first glance it seems as if everyone should treat one another fairly ~ Equal portions of cake, equal time at the computer, everyone getting their fair share. Fairness should result in happiness for everyone, right?

Reality doesn't work that way. Not everyone should have cake. A 5 month old doesn't need it and Momma' may not even want it, so should it really be divided in a strictly "fair" way?

Or what about this example? We won tickets a while ago to a big BIG game, but had no interest in the sport, so we gave them away. It wasn't "fair," but it was kind, and we were happier to see the recipients enjoyment much more than we would have been to watch a game in which we have little interest.
We decided that kindness is more important than fairness.
If each person is intent upon treating others kindly, then fairness no longer matters. The baby will receive what she needs, despite being unable to fight for her "fair" share, and the person with the desire to see a game may be provided for, even if they do not have tickets.

Consider Matthew 6:25
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. ... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Fairness is being concerned about self - full of worry that things won't equal out in the end; worried that we won't be able to take care of ourselves in the future.

Kindness is being concerned about others - intentionally taking care of the needs that are around you, and allowing God to take care of us in his own timing.

Compelling thoughts for 7AM

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