Sunday, July 19, 2009


As I was outside the other day grilling some mean, lean *turkey burgers I was thinking about the genesis of arguments, disputes and fights.  I was thinking about marital disputes (think Jon & Kate + 8), sports arguments (Kobe vs. LeBron) and the 1994 Oscar Best Picture debate (Forrest Gump vs. The Shawshank Redemption).    Most of these disagreements seemed to come about because one side thought the other side was not being fair.

*M made the purchase.

Is it really as simple as it was in kindergarten when you used to get upset and yell "that's not fair."  If it really is that simple why can't we all take our father's (well at least my father's) advice of "life isn't fair."    Wouldn't things be much more pleasant if we took that advice more often.  It isn't fair that women are generally more responsible for child care.  It isn't fair that the Rays have Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett and the Twins have Brendan Harris and Delmon Young.  It isn't fair that George W. Bush got accepted to Yale.   Now some of these things are worth fighting for (gender equality) while other things (past trades that in hindsight are definitely unbalanced) should probably just be digested, accepted and put behind.  

I think where people can get in trouble is when they stew over things that are not fair and that they can't control.   That is why even though it makes complete sense I don't think coworkers will ever feel comfortable sharing their salaries with each other.   While that information would be valuable to know come review time I don't think people could accept making less money than someone else for the same job.   If the coworkers knew this information a lot of them wouldn't be able to let it go and that would severely hinder their performance and happiness.  

I don't know if there is a solution to the problem of fairness and I am not trying to come up with one.   My point I guess is that people would probably be a lot happier if they fought for fairness on things they are passionate about and let the other stuff just be.   

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