ON BEING FAIR
We cannot talk about justice or believe in it without knowing what fairness is. Justice is ideal, fairness is practical. We cannot even appreciate the essence of justice without even having an understanding what being fair is all about. In other words, the foundation of being just is the act of being fair. Of course, this is easier said than done. At times, people would rather see it breached rather than observed.
Fairness does not come as easily as it is conceived. There are qualities a person must sustain if only to comprehend it. He should be firm and committed to a cause. He should be trained to understand the meaning of equality and distinguish it from inequality. He may live within a sphere where disorder abounds, he may reside in an environment where greed and instability are widespread, but his sense of even-handedness makes him stable and steady. A person’s integrity is a shield against falsity and intrigues.
Under a situation where there is dearth of competence and fitness, inequality is amplified and more often than not expressed through unfairness. Even those who try their best to act with fairness become a casualty and no sooner castrated to act accordingly. They become pariah or outcast if they have no stomach for rebellion. They merely coast along, exist as fence sitters and lead inconsequential lives thereafter.
This is a condition that breeds low life. And they are not products coming out of the woodwork but effects of a series of impartial acts. They develop a life of its own and subsequently evolve into denizens who are instantly regaled and entertained by senselessness like movies done in poor taste. They are animated by inanities until they become subject matters of Senator Miriam.
Societies with cultural values on fairness are most likely just or with matured appreciation of what justice really implies. There is little misunderstanding among people, every issue is seen in an objective manner and governance is always the trademark of public service.
But first we must contemplate if indeed fairness resides in our personal system. Let us not even entertain social mores, let alone view matters without obtaining it domestically in our own respective homes. Are we fair among members of our family? Are we fair with our neighbours? Are we reasonable with our friends? Are we fair with ourselves? Fairness must start from where we jump off.
If not, forget about justice.