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#WQWWC #13 Fairness

This week’s topic for Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays is fairness, equal, eqitable, just or the counter point “Unfair!”

Merriam Webster defines fairness three ways: impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination, having light-colored hair or a pale complexion, and beauty.

To participate in Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays, feel free to use any of the definitions. Don’t forget the quote!

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My brother and I used to argue that our portions of food were not fair if one of us got an extra French fry or a bigger serving of cake. Fair meant equal at our house.

Only humans can choose to be fair. The wild animal world is ruled by survival of the fittest. And Tina Schell had a quote in her Lens-Artist post this week that illustrated that point well.

“It’s a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful.”

Hiromu Arakawa
Mama Kitty, Kalev, fairness

I have taught my dog to wait and not be grabby when she and the cat get treats together. Does she understand the concept of fairness I am teaching her? I’m not sure, but she doesn’t grab the treat, which is much smaller than hers until the cat walks away and/or I say, “Okay.”

Would she do that on her own?

Equity v Equality Which is Fair?

In the teaching setting it took some unlearning for me to learn equity and equality were not the same. Life is not fair. We don’t all start out with the same opportunities. Humans have the ability to learn that some people need more because they have less and that by giving more to those people we act fairly, though not equally.

“Fairness is man’s ability to rise above his prejudices.”

Wes Fessler

When I worked for Migrant Education we had programs for only the migrant students because they moved often and did not have the same educational advantages as students who were stable and had the opportunity to attend the same school every day.

One summer as a Migrant Education supervisor I visited migrant students in their homes with our recruiters. The migrant camp was poorer that most of the poorest I’d seen. One 60 foot by 12 foot trailer was divided into five equal sections and housed 4 families and had one bathroom for all the families. In the first one was one bed for a family of five or six, and no other furniture. We sat on the edge of the bed and the mother and children sat on the floor. The mother wasn’t allowed to eat in the camp because she was disabled and couldn’t work. So they had a two burner cook top stove someone had given them that sat on the floor off to one side. Books were a rarity, and we handed out a book per child that day. The mother was so grateful they gave each of us oranges. It was hard to accept them, but it was important to the mother that we did.

Some district administrators fought with Migrant Education, a federally funded program, for not being fair and not giving the Migrant benefits equally to all the students in the district. It was hard for them to explain to children and parents who were not classified as migrant that migrant students did not have the same advantages even thought they might also be poor. Migrant students did not attend the same school all year and often missed studying the same subjects as they bounced from school to school. They did not have equal opportunities. Migrant Education attempted to level the playing field to make things fair for migrant students.

COVID-19 Restrictions for All

One thing we all share fairly is COVID 19 restrictions. Never in my lifetime has anything been so widespread and pervasive for so long. Is it going to even the playing field? What are your thoughts?

Some of my blogging friends have taken the bull by the horns to keep from feeling defeated and powerless by the pandemic.

“One of the challenges my friends have been having recently is what I call “hitting the wall” but other labels are boredom and COVID Fatigue.  I recently listened to a documentary on the radio about Boredom, and one of my key take-aways was the lack of agency we all have during quarantine.  That is… we lack the ability to make things happen.  Some people have been able to find a niche that gives them some feeling of agency or accomplishment:  blogging, writing, art, weaving,  home repairs, decorating, walking, virtual travelling: the Conqueror Challenge, reading, book clubslanguage learning,  on-line yogae-cycling, grandparenting, online courses, cooking, photography, kayaking, zooming and #Sundaystills.”

Ann of

Check Out Last Week’s #WQWWC #12 Responsibility Entries


Hi friends, As you can see the participant rate for this challenge, Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge, is low. It seems that this challenge is not working for you. Are the prompts or topics okay? Is using quotes difficult or boring? I was going to give it a year, but if it is not working for you, then it doesn’t work for me either. Talk to me.


31 replies »

  1. fairness is such a tough concept, as evidenced by your migrant children example. I think that much of our destiny in life is set at birth, what Warren Buffet calls the Ovarian Lottery. Life is quite unfair, and I think we owe it to each other to try and make it a fairer place for all…

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW, Jim! I’ve never heard it called that, but yes, I was blessed by the Ovarian Lottery even with a slight handicap. My parents had insurance that took care of fixing it. And they loved me. But for those who don’t make it by that lottery, therein comes the hard part for those who do- at least sometimes – sacrifice – the decision to be fair. I hated being fair with my brother, because that meant less for me and he hated being fair because he was younger and didn’t get to do the same things I did. But somehow we learned a few of those lessons. Fairness ties so much with sharing, doesn’t it. You got me going, here, Jim…. Help, I can’t stop!!! Fairness, that’s why I don’t mind paying taxes. We do have high taxes, but I still have what I need AND want (within reason, of course) To try to meet everyone’s needs would be overwhelming to individuals, but by paying taxes we can try to do a better job as long as the people in positions of power spend the money wisely. Fairness is a hard concept, Jim.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting to think about fairness in relation to COVID. I’ve heard people talk about it being a leveller, in that it’s affected all of us, wherever we live and however. But that’s not true. We’re finding in the UK that people from some communities are far more likely to become seriously ill than others. And I know, despite my complaints of boredom and frustration, that I am lucky. I’m retired, so I don’t have to worry about losing my job or the stresses of working from home. I don’t have children that need home-schooling. I no longer have elderly parents living in care homes, whom I would worry about not being able to visit. And even in the strictest lockdown periods I have had the company and comfort of living with my husband, rather than alone. So no, COVID isn’t fair, or at least isn’t equitable in its impacts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah, that’s exactly where I am, too. I can’t imagine the stress that young people have. I would be losing my mind, for sure. But even among younger adults, there are discrepancies. Some are still able to work, and some not. Some have an education and can help their children, and some not. This is a great example of where equality is not equity. Those who need help from outside the home are less and less likely to get it without the schools being open.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that’s been a concern here. Our social services system relies a lot on referrals from teachers, who are often the first to spot that a child has a problem because they see them everyday – but not right now. I read a good analogy from someone who said that it’s completely wrong to say we’re all the same boat because we all face the challenges and risks of COVID. We’re not in the same boat at all. We’re all sailing the same sea but in very different boats. Some of us are lucky enough to be in large robust motor boats, some are in tiny fishing boats with the engines failing, some only have a raft …

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed your exploration of fairness Marsha and think it probably applies to the animal and insect worlds as well. Your story about the migrants was really touching and eye-opening to those of us who had never thought of circumstances like those. Life really is not fair, is it?! Appreciate the nod to my post. To see how the dolphins share their bounty, your followers are welcome to see more at

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You bring up excellent points about fairness! I don’t think it’s fair that my brain is fried after starting my new part-time job last week, Marsha. What happened to my 61-year-old brain besides age? Thank you for the shout-out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your brain is fine. Everyone feels that way when they learn. My poor little 4th graders, new from Mexico used to get such bad headaches from listening to English all day. I never understood until I was immersed in Spanish all day for several weeks. Whew. Headache time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Terri, I remember once when starting a new job I likened my brain to a sponge. For a while it soaked up all the new information I was being given to absorb, but once it reached saturation point the info could only stay in if something else was allowed to drip out! And that wasn’t an age issue – I was only in my 40s at the time 😆

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree, Sarah. My old brain is getting new information, but is not saturated. When I first started blogging 9 years ago, Whew – overload so much so that I cried sometimes when I couldn’t make a program work the way I thought it could after spending hours trying to understand the directions. I also had a new job as a Director of a Non-profit and was trying to figure out how to do the books and about a million other things all at once. I was on overload! 🙂


  5. I don’t remember talking with you about your experiences in migrant education. I would have sincerely enjoyed that. Did I ask you if Rudy Hernandez was still heading the program when you were there? I went to high school with him.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Rudy was there in name only. He was not able to come to work for many years. When I had been there about four years, he came back for a short time and changed my job, which was fine. He died shortly after I went to ERS, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fairness. Interesting to think about this concept as life itself is not fair. I was not born a Rohinga in Myanmar. I was born in Canada to parents who could afford a child and who had their own roof over their heads. I was lucky. The child born to refugee Rohingas now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh is not so lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. I am one of the privileged. Not that we haven’t suffered, but not from the word go. My former daughter-in-law lived in a Thai refugee camp until age four. Her family was moved to France by the Father working at the Thai camp. She remained in France until she left home except for some travel. She’s an amazing woman, but still a survivor and expects others to provide whatever she wants. She has a doctorate in acupuncture, which I suspect she hasn’t paid for because we still get calls from collection companies asking about her whereabouts. She has a degree in English, dance, and art, a license in massage therapy, and I haven’t seen her in about ten years when she was about 32. Very accomplished and talented in all areas and morally bankrupt. I feel badly for her start in life, but her family raised her and kept her safe and helped her through school. I don’t know what the answer is to fairness, my friend, but other than my friend who survived in camps as a child of the Holocaust, she is the closest I’ve ever come to knowing a person so badly mistreated on an intimate level since she and my son lived with us for a while.

      Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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