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Is the World Fair?

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Earth from Apollo

It’s a big No. World isn’t fair enough. Whatever one tries to do, world cannot be fair. It’s by inherent design. Newton’s third law that ‘Every action has equal and opposite reaction’ leads us to believe that what we sow we reap. Now this phrase even literally is not true over a long-term period. If one does sow a mango seed, and tend to it all his life, his fruits of labour are enjoyed by the generations that follow the person. Is it fair? You put in the effort, someone else gets the reward. But whenever family and relatives come into the equation, all talk about fairness goes out of the window.

A production line worker slogs 12 to 14 hours a day but earns very less as compared to their immediate manager bosses. Is it fair? Yeah the World has always rewarded knowledge and skill over manual labour. We reward the managers for their decision-making skills in a constant risk environment which affects their organisation’s present and future. It may seem ridiculous to equate manual labour with decision-making skills, but fairness is also about perspective. Since the industrial revolution, we have rewarded decision-making over manual labour, so we don’t see it as unfair.

Fairness is also very much relative. Suppose a team consisting of 7 people were being rewarded for a job well done. Now out of those 7, three get double the rewards while other four dint, we would see this act as unfair. It’s obvious, right? Now look at our own underlying assumptions. We thought, since they are a team, they all would have worked together, so why reward only a part of the team. We believe in equal effort equal reward to all. But now if I say, those three were the ones who actually worked on the task at hand while other four dint work at all and now you reward each one of them equally, then somewhere those three people would feel a bit disappointed. Now they would think, its unfair to them, because equal effort would entail equal reward. When they din’t put the same level of effort, they being rewarded equally meant, their effort is more valuable! Ironic, isn’t it? So we see fairness is also relative.

So knowing that fairness is perspective driven and relative, we can never feel, we have been treated fairly or unfairly, because there would always be someone who may feel otherwise and both may be right at their places. And since we can’t isolate fair judgement as we can’t even define it objectively, we can never be sure about it. So when I say world isn’t fair, I have to accept the fact that, we all have to do our best and be enlightened about such issues, so that we can take all perspectives into consideration before we do anything that affects others.

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