In all fairness

Published 11:03 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So let me get this straight… I used to wonder as a child in the days leading to Halloween, for this one night, I will be allowed to wear dark clothing and walk along the street with my friends in strange neighborhoods and take candy from strangers? Has the world turned upside down?
The hypocrisy that occurs during childhood is mind-boggling. Its no wonder that so few of us emerge unscathed while a substantial percentage of the country, as adults, are on some kind of anti-depression medication.
Parents, I believe, in their loving attempts to raise productive members of society do great harm without realizing it. The worst thing they can possibly do, Ive learned, is to teach any sort of fairness within the household. Youve heard the results:
Madison got two pieces of pizza and I only got one, its not fair!
How come I have to take out the trash? I did it last night. Its not fair!
Everyone at school has this purse except me. Its not FAIR!
To still the din of pubescent shrieks of injustice, mom and dad routinely cave and realize that indeed its not fair and chores and gifts are evaluated and rescheduled, generally leading to a new chorus of shrieking. Surely it would be more productive for children to be armed with the sad fact that life isnt fair and the sooner this is ingested, the better.
Afterall, tens of thousands of employees that have been recently laid off with absolutely no warning, while their CEO slithers away with a golden parachute, can certainly bleat, But this isnt fair! as they clean off their collective desks, but that wont pay the mortgage or heating bill. Good, hard working folks who, at 60, realize that their pensions have been raided will certainly not be ready for this unfairness if theyve never expected it.
If you want fairness, I say you must fight for it and not expect it to come draping down around your shoulders simply because youre a child or otherwise.
Back in the day in my house, as children, had we cried, Hey, I only got one piece of pizza! the remark from my father would have probably been, Well, youre too bloody slow, arent you? And justice would have been served in Lord of the Rings fashion with a clear humiliation of the offender in the back yard when no one was looking: having your chest sat upon by an older sibling and forced to eat grass, or worse: we had both horses and dogs. My oldest brother, being denied his fair turn at riding my sisters pony, in retribution, painted the ponys hooves blue. I once had my Barbie dolls head decapitated, put on the end of a pencil and set alight: the price of being a tattle tale. While we certainly got a good cuff around the chops for back talk, I have, in fact, very few memories of actually being grounded or truly punished for misdeeds by my parents as we children were more effective with our own vigilante retaliations.
And, no, it hasnt turned me into a gun waving lunatic when cut off by a driver in the Bi Lo parking lot. But I must say, I would give anything to paint the wheels of Dick Fulds Mercedes, blue.

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