Fairness vs. Generosity

I read a wonderful article by writer Gregory F. Augustine Pierce on the American Catholic website some time ago which is filled with great lessons for this day and age.  I encourage you to read and reflect on this piece and share your thoughts.  Do you agree with the author’s perspective?  Has fairness taken over in our society and spontaneous generosity gone by the wayside?

Fairness vs. Generosity
By Gregory F. Augustine Pierce

My three children, now teenagers, have always insisted that my wife and I be fair in our dealings with them. By “fair,” of course, they mean that we treat them absolutely equally.

“That’s not fair,” they point out with great regularity when one of them gets something the others didn’t: “He got McDonald’s and I didn’t. She got to stay out late and I had to come home on time.” These minor injustices seem to them to be the ultimate in unfairness.

“Which would you rather have, fairness or generosity?” I often ask them. For many years, they consistently chose fairness, but lately they have begun to consider the possible positive aspects of generosity.

There are many. For one thing, fairness implies a minimal, lowest-common-denominator kind of arrangement. If each child has to have exactly the same amount of everything—money, time, attention, etc.—then it seems that all parents can do is dole out their resources with one eye on the balance scale and the other on the bottom line.

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