Monday, March 09, 2009

for or against the flow....



Fairness....the word which floats up from the cosmos of my brain this morning. It's one of those concepts which seem to have as many definitions and interpretations as there are people. Or maybe the way its definition is shrouded by one's view of the concept of democracy, or what is considered correct and just. Fairness encompasses justice, integrity, decorum, balance, equality. It seems so straightforward when one simply skims the surface of it. Ah, but it's certainly NOT. We may all strive to accomodate the other meanings, the other layers of what constitutes fairness. Our way of perceiving it is seen through a prism of our own heartfelt emotions, our values and our logic. My logic may look very different than your logic. My logic has a tinge of blue and a smattering of red in it. What colour is yours?

Fairness means that a process is considered soley collaborative. Competition is not in the picture. Or maybe there is fairness within the realm of competition? I mean, someone has to win and someone has to lose in a game and we accept that as fair. But, I can't help but scoff at the times when one starts out in a competition with governing rules about who wins and who loses and then in the middle of the game, the rules change. Is that fair?

Is democracy competitive? Of course it is. Is it fair? hmmmm......On the level headed idealistic thin skinned surface it is, though I don't believe most democratic processes are purely and honestly played out. Strategies and behind the scenes political maneouvering are the norm, some more subtle than others. But, we plebians will never know the kitchen table talk that truly goes on during the course of a hard fought battle for leadership unless we are invited to the table. The way our systems are set up, its obvious the power of a few override the power of the masses. We are fed what they want to feed us in whatever packaging they feel will sell.

We can easily slip into the thinking that there is constant tyranny of the majority, and sometimes there is, but there comes a point when we have to grab hold of something solid and take a leap of faith. The problem is sometimes its damn difficult to figure out when we let something slide and when its time to stand up to the majority. It's mucky when the majority is a veiled version of democracy.......

Or maybe it isn't difficult for you. to figure it out. Maybe you have a clear picture in your head and heart of what is right and wrong....of what you will stand up for and against which drives your actions and in turn drives the decisions you make in your life? That's fair and good on ya if you're clear on this. Most days, I'm jumping back and forth on an issue trying to see the reasoning....

Well, there are some heavy duty deal breakers in my mind....equality, honesty, safety, respect, dignity..... if someone is living under the cloud of terror, whether it is a domestic abuse situation or it is under the constant threat on their lives, where power dictates from a place of hatred and greed, I'm triggered. If there is a brutal bully involved, be it on the local or global playground, fairness becomes a clearcut black and white issue for me as it is most likely for you. HOW it is handled may be different, and this is where fairness gets all cloudy in my mind.

Do you think my definiton of fairness simply comes down to recognizing that my interpretation of "an eye for an eye" is different than someone elses?

And then there is the whole side of this longwinded thought.....will i just think about what is and isn't FAIR and ruminate on it until the cows come home? Will I bark out my opinions and bellow at the moon over the unfairness of whatever event/situation/issue turns my cranky crank? OR will I step up to the plate and ACT? Am I a victim or am I a player? Will I sit on the sidelines cheering or booing or will I take the leap out of the stand, grab the ball and run??? What sparks my butt to get up and take it on?? And if I do take it on, can I be fairminded enough to see the underlying manifestations of someone else's motivation? Fairness is a compromising balance of striving for reconciliation isn't it?

Whether I decide to step up to the trough without thinking about what's for dinner, that's my individual choice to make. However, if I want to be "in the game..."..... if I want to "play...." I have to be cognizant of the fact that all is never what it appears to be and in accepting that, I have to figure out which hills we fight over or we'll spread ourselves too thin. Too thin and my anorexic approach to tackling something meaningful to me is useless. I wouldn't have the strenth to stand up to what I honestly believe is right or wrong, immoral, unethical, promising, hopeful, inhumane, evil if we aren't aware of the issues and how they impact our values. And, if I'm aren't aware of our values, I am soaked in a brine that leaves life limp and salty. Who the heck wants limp and salty?

Sometimes I read something on a blog and it broadens my thinking on a subject which may be burning a hole right through the heart of the author and perhaps I havent really put my time or energy into understanding the issue....or I had been locked in my own opinion. This happens most often when I read a piece where the owner of the opinion has taken the time to lay out their argument in their own words using their own passion. I may not agree with their "take" on an issue, but I can at least appreciate their candor.

Its easy to pluck a news story or a video and paste it on ones blogsite disguised as a personal post. I tend to avoid those heavy handed political blathering blogs. They aren't interested in discourse with anyone who may question their stance. Their opinion on fairness is clearly drawn in the dirt with the message that their way or the highway is the only way. Don't see it their way, you suck, you're wrong and you don't count. See it their way and you can join the circle jerk. Yes, I avoid those barking blogs because whatever argument comes to the forefront is smattered with personal "your mother wears army boots," jibes. Who needs to spend time with someone even if its in cyber land who simply is looking for a cheap fight?? I see no fairness or equity in that approach. It just reeks of bad breath.

In all that is fair....? They choose to use their cyber-platform as they wish. I choose to move on. It's the same as the choices I make with respect to my overall learning. Important to note on many levels, because what i choose to learn is smothered by my interests, my life situation, my values, my upbringing, opportunities, access....etc, etc.....

So we pick and choose our "battles" based on our passions and personal experiences, sometimes clouding our ability to see how another is perceiving the fairness of situation or at the governmental level, of how a direction was decided upon. It's the same at the street level where decisions are made that impact us personally. Fair? Democratic? Am I right and you're wrong? Are you right and I'm wrong? Is fairness ever monochromatic? It really gets bogged down into the paralyzing core of political correctness doesn't it?

Am I confusing the hell out of you, as I am myself?? Is it even fair to ask these questions? Sorry, I have been in the car a heck of a lot this week and consequently the convoluted permutations and vascillations have wreaked havoc..... eeek!

Fairness......its a fundamental concept we try to teach our children at a very young age, often starting out as measured equality and broadening out with parameters and rules to guide it. It's a concept we continue to struggle with through the prism of our moral reasoning which is layered by how we learn how to see the world, what we hold dear to our ethical fabric, what is impacted us personally, and what we have learned. Fairness is the underpinning of our values. It is what gets our blood and juices flowing. It is an everchanging kaleidescope impacted by the experiences we step out and into, by what we feed it through our learning. It is as complicated to figure out as it is simple to establish. It drives our notions of democracy and has the capacity to allow us to walk a mile in someone elses shoes....... OR it can be a deal breaker in the eyes of someone who is not willing to focus beyond their line in the dirt.

gee, and to think this little word....this little concept came to mind when I was trying to figure out if it was fair that I didn't get that job...... hmmmm, that's a bit of confessional self absorption isn't it? ....... I guess when I try to look at it from another side, it was fair in someone's eyes. :) And if I look at it another way, the experience left me with much to think about. that's a fair trade i guess. ;)

9 comments:

Walker said...

What's fair and whats not?
I believe we should all be equal at the starting gate but in reality we never are.
My biggest bitch is about this politically correct BS.

For example I applied a few years ago for a job that was all phone based but I was refused not because of my abilities but because they wanted visable minorities.
Personally I think a Canadian is of various colors, nationalities, sex and religions but can someone tell me why it matters if a person is white black yellow male or female old or young.... when you're on the phone?

I think there is no such thing as fairness in a democracy or not.
There will always be those who are above the rules who can manipulate what is fair for their own benefit.
It's all a hypocracy that we subscribe to when we don't get our way.

Awareness said...

Walker...it's enough to drive one to drink isn't it? As long as we have the manufacturing of politically correct rules and misguided political heirarchies, we're frigged on the whole fairness front.
Nothing drives me more crazy than political spin and hypocritical systems. !!!!!!

Scarlet said...

As Walker said, what's fair?
By who's measurement and standard?
Mine?
Yours?
The Government?
Which one??

There's no real way to judge fairness.
It's an ideal.

"Nothing drives me more crazy than political spin and hypocritical systems. !!!!!!"
Show me a place that ISN'T!!! lol

Awareness said...

Scarlet...sadly our whole justice system and bureaucracy is based on a standard of "fairness..." our world revolves around the concept of fairness (or not fair)....we pour more and more laws and standards into place all for the sake of fairness....

we get numbed out and twisted up because we continue to try to apply various permutations and ruminatory interpretations of what we believe is fair onto the lives of the citizens.....

yes, its an ideal....we have made a sorry ass attempt at using as a reality.

can't think of a damn one.

want to......but can't....

A'Jay said...

Ah ... Fairness.. there is no such concept. Dont get me wrong, would be a gorgeous world if their was but fair... no life is not fair. Thats precisely what i teach my work kids, as they cry...'Its not fair!' No its probably not the abusive families, lack of money, resources, death, afflictions of all sorts... not fair in anyones language but the sooner you deal with that, the sooner you move out of victim mode.

There is nothing more pitiful than hearing an adult in victim mode bemoaning 'Its not fair'To me its 'Get over it, and get on with it' Harsh? probably to some but it beats being stuck in the 'poor me' role in life.

My work industry, even my government puts policies and laws into place4 to make a 'level playing feild' (hate that term)to make life fair, what a croc...

Life is unfair, its what you chose to do with it, the attitude you take to whatever life throws at you that gives you character....

If people stopped crying in their teacup about the injustices they live under (and im talking middle class, white Australians here) and stand on their own two feet then just maybe they would have a better life...

Unfair...laugh, unfair is the Israelis fencing you in and bombing the bjesus out of you... when you live with that it puts the rest into perspective...

Yep lifes unfair, suck it up and get on with it I say....

I'll step off my soapbox, rant over, laugh, bit of welfare work burn out talking :)

Great post chickadee...x

Awareness said...

A'Jay...oh, I hear you! I've got all the patience in the world for someone in true need, but if I am confronted with a someone too whiney to DO SOMETHING besides be a "victim" ? I am the first to bark out "suck it up...MOVE on!"

Is what you're doing getting you what you want????

How is THAT helping you?

I blame talk shows and the Queen of them....Oprah. Though she has changed her tune over the years, the TV media (oh and the freaking Radio talk shows) thrive on victims....ever reality shows do...

Yes, my place of work also has many "level the playing field" policies. they bite.

A'Jay said...

The clients I struggle with are the victims and those with learned helplessness... its not a trait I accept in myself and not one I deal with (inwardly) in others well.

Teaching my kids (and thats either gender) that its disempowering to take on that role, is often a ground breaking concept... and when they 'get it' tis awesome. Whether it is victim status earnt by gender or race (the two main ones in my job) the first step is to understand life owes you nothing...

The trouble is its learnt behaviour and has gotten their needs met. Whether from parents or society.

God thoughs talk shows,You are 100% right, I havnt watched them in years (we dont have a tv by choice) but boy do I remember them. Feeding on others misery pandering to the victim, all for ratings...grrrr

Awareness said...

Systems are set up to feed learned helplessness....as are families which feed a sense of entitlement....as are families which live in the culture of dependency.

I can't stand it. we do nothing to help make shifts in attitude and action if we don't help them face the music that life is what you make of it.

i have taught many "life skills" courses in the past....great training ground to glean this and to learn the importance of promotiong emotional literacy.

oh, i wish we could chat on this all day, but i must pack the van and head EAST to Home!! We are on the road for a couple of days, but will be able to "check in" tonight wherever we end up stopping.

cheers A'Jay.....

ps. teach them how to fish....!!

A'Jay said...

Smile, take care on the road.. and catch up soon...

'Teach em to fish!' Id be happy if they'd just pick there towels up off the floor...

but know what you mean... catch ya...x