There is a big chuck of me that wants, needs for things to be the same. I want a perfect latte when I wake up – the more that it is the same as it was yesterday the better! The need does not stop at food. The idea of equal measure permeates everything.
The idea of fairness – in the size of what is served, how each is treated, and even the way we consider ideas – dominates everything. The premise seems to be that life is driven by justice! As good and admirable as justice is, there is more to life.
There are three lessons that keep repeating themselves as reminders.
Pulling another down is never the answer. The idea that a higher power should “do to them what you did to Midian, to Sisera and Jabin at Kishon Brook,” (Psalm 83.9) does not reflect our calling (lifting) or our role (helping). Life’s whispers remind me to leave divine things with divinity.
Being fair is not the same as dispensing things in equal measure. The poor and powerless need more than equality opportunity. Those in pain need more pain relief. The measure of fairness starts with the finish line and what it takes to get there. Helping others to the same place we are in regards to opportunity is part of being fair, even if it takes more.
Fairness is more than justice. Fairness is also composed of compassion, empathy, mercy, and love, each balanced to what is needed in a given moment in time. Fairness is not a destination or something that is measured and dispensed. Fairness is something we do with and for each other.
As much as I think I want everything to be equal and unchanging, my heart reminds me that I need what I do not deserve. I need forgiveness not justice. I need compassion, mercy, and understanding. In short, I need help! The surprise that comes with recognition is the help that is here – waiting, willing. Nothing needs to remain the same. What follows will not be equal; love never is.