Fairness and Equality

July 22, 2015

I recently read an article that stated reading to your children gives them an unfair advantage over other children, even those in elite private schools. The article concluded that we should eliminate that unfair advantage. The author did not suggest that we should encourage more parents to read to their children, but rather stated parents should stop reading to children altogether. [Read the article for yourself. See my sources.]

The premise behind this conclusion is that we should have equality and fairness of outcome. If all children cannot reach the highest level, then all children should be brought to the lowest level.

Fairness has been redefined, instead of Webster’s definition, “characterized by honesty and justice,” to mean equality of outcome. Equality of outcome is not the same as equal opportunity. By mandating equal outcome, honesty and justice are sacrificed. That is not fair.

Our baseball Little League used to have one page of rules. When my husband joined the board, he instated the Little League’s book of official rules (with variations). There were fewer arguments, and the children learned how to play baseball. They played better.

This year he is no longer on the board. The rules have been forgotten. Coaches changed the rules, depending on the individual game, so "the kids have fun". Now we have a club, but not to learn baseball. Instead of a set standard, we decide whether a ball is foul by what the coach wants it to be. What about the fun of the child who wants to know baseball and improve? What if his coach concedes because fun is his priority? How will this player succeed in the next league, where rules are enforced?

All players have an equal chance to succeed. But not all players have equal talent. What’s the difference? Talent makes people rise to the top. The competition gets tighter. That is life.

Beware of the temptation to equalize the playing field under the guise of fairness.

God gave one man five talents and the man increased it to ten. God gave another two talents and that man doubled it. The last man, God gave one talent and that man buried it. (Matthew 25:15-30)

In today’s view of equality, the authorities would take half of what the man with ten talents had and give it to the man with the one talent. “He had an unfair advantage.” They would make the playing field equal.

What was God’s response to the men with the talents? He did not give the talents equally. But He took away the talent from the one who did not use what he had and gave it to the one who had ten. He rewarded the one who kept the playing field unbalanced. Was God unjust?

If God gave equally, we would all be smart, athletic, beauty queens. In case, you haven't noticed, we are not.

God decides who gets the talents.

Our response should not be to complain about what we have been given, nor minimize other talents to be equal with our own, but to use what we are given for His best... His standard.

Do not seek equal outcome.

Strive for justice and honesty. Seek to give your all to God regardless of those who would tell you to be fair and not reach God’s standard.

“He was told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

He will judge honestly, justly and fairly. He will determine whether I have done right.

Excuse me while I go give my children an unfair advantage. I’m going to read to them.  


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


How do you accept the 'unfairness' life brings?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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Tell of My Kingdom's Glory
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