Who Professes Our Need for Fairness?

There seems to be a lot of discussion today about fairness.  What does it mean to you? In the dialog, the central theme seems to focus on the perception of what fair means to the individual.  Often through an increased volume, they would like you to agree with their individual point of view of what fairness should mean.

My question is, what is fair for everyone?  Could we agree on something so subjective? Can fairness be universal?  In reaching for words of wisdom on the topic of fairness and how others might think about its application, I found the following:

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. -Eleanor Roosevelt

These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only.  This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have. – Abraham Lincoln

Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly. – Leviticus 19:15

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In our hearts and in our laws, we must treat all our people with fairness and dignity, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation… – Bill Clinton

Today’s Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish. – Thurgood Marshall

Win or lose, do it fairly. – Knute Rockne

There are others that would be included on this list of quotes and words that should inspire us.  What is obvious is fairness is not individual.  Fairness comes from the origins of evenhandedness.  And that requires more than one.  The exact definition for fairness:  the state, condition, or quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice; evenhandedness.

So, as we try to square the conversation on fairness for one and all, maybe we can first focus on what’s fair for you and fair for me.  Starting at two, might help us get to a dozen, a hundred, a thousand, a million and beyond to agree.

“Let the watchwords of all our people be the old familiar watchwords of honesty, decency, fair-dealing, and commonsense.”… “We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less.””The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”  ― Teddy Roosevelt

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