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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fair is fair ... Really?

One of the greatest things about having kids is the amazing opportunity for learning from them. My eldest Justin is still grappling with the notion of fairness. I recently had to explain to him what crab mentality meant. It's an idiom which I've heard used back in the Philippines as a challenge not to engage in such thinking. For Justin, it is a pained and impassioned assertion that "if I can't have it, then so can't he!" And little brother Patrick is starting to use that line as well. It can be frustrating to have to explain the way this doesn't work to my kids, and I still struggle to be calm each time (I have a temper). It's usually more amusing than frustrating when I see adults use the same kind of thinking for a lot of things:

  • I'm doing it, so they probably are, too!
  • If I can't do it, then they can't possibly do it!
  • I can't be sure, and neither can you!
Amusing -- until they happen to use it as a club to beat you senseless from their online or TV soapbox or, worse yet, from parliament. May we be delivered from such crustacean logic -- and I apologize to my dearly departed pet lobster of many years ago for that unintended insult.

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