“Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.” –Eric Hoffer
I am often reminded of one of the great lessons I received early in my teaching career. I was talking to the mother of one of my students who was suggesting how to raise children in the most “fair” way. She explained that she had just purchased a new winter coat for one of her sons and the other had complained, saying something to the effect of, “It’s not fair. You bought him a new coat but you didn’t buy one for me.”
The mom explained that she bought a new coat for her other son because he’d outgrown his old one. The complaining son could still fit into his coat and it was perfectly fine. She told him, “I’ll buy you a new coat when you need one.”
The logic and brilliance of this was immediately clear to me. As a parent, her philosophy is to provide what each of her children needs when they need it. To do otherwise creates competition and materialism. Treated this way, each of her children could relax, knowing that their needs would consistently be met. This was actually the most “fair” thing this mom could do, too.
If you want some ideas on how to fulfill this week’s mission, I suggest this blog entry called “18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule” from Zen Habits. Reviewing these, you might find some personally fulfilling suggestions.