Fair Enough?

I am so pumped. I will be trying out these delightful Olympic cupcake toppers by brownpapergoods ASAP! They are on their way …

So the Olympics.

Last night I watched gymnast Jordan Wieber, reigning world champion in the all-around and favorite to win the Olympic gold medal, finish in third place. Meaning she will not advance to the finals where she was expected to dominate.

Admittedly, my heart broke for her. Years of dreaming about “her day” were dashed due to blunders that could barely be called mistakes. She looked great.

As I watched the footage on repeat–in slow motion set to really sad music, you know the drill–I listened to the commentators discuss how Jordan had been robbed of the scores she deserved. And I began to consider the issue of fairness. As a parent of 2 children, I am already plagued with how to keep things fair between them. I want my kids to know how much I love them, which, for me, has already resulted in a manic tallying of compliments, time spent one-on-one, purchases, kisses, etc.

According to my master plan, this should alleviate any future accusations that I played favorites.

Probably makes as much sense as a submarine with screen doors.

As I watched Jordan Wieber last night it occurred to me: Obsessing over fairness with my children won’t prepare them for real life. What will I accomplish for my kids by teaching them that everything balances out in the end? Let’s face it. Life is often unfair. My kids will be underestimated, misunderstood, cheated, and hurt by someone (no doubt multiple someones if God grants them long life). While I don’t need to manipulate circumstances to be unfair to my children, neither should I be afraid to embrace opportunities that could result in teachable moments.

I don’t want my sons to learn that life is unfair in front of an audience of 1 billion. I’d rather they learn at my kitchen table with pieces of cake that may not be the same size.


  1. Megan Albright says:

    So true! Wish I’d learned this earlier on myself – I like everything very neatly distributed and spread out. :-) A wise man told me a few years ago that it’s the unfair things in a Christian’s life (e.g. me not getting the credit/praise I think I deserve for lots of work and organization, etc. and instead getting criticism) that God uses to grind out the selfishness, pride, and performance-orientation of my heart and teach humility and giving up of my rights. Yuk. Not fun to learn, but good to learn. :-)

  2. Beckie P says:

    Amen, Sister.
    We have a saying at our house. Sometimes it is used sarcastically, but it is true none the less.
    Parents who do not teach the underlying truth to their kids raise the kind of teens
    and young adults that make the rest of us cringe.
    The saying: “Life’s tough. Wear a helmet.” :)
    Fairness is not part of it at all. That’s the way life goes.

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