Fairness is something that can be misunderstood. The whole point of making a fair decision is having equal benefit for both sides. Of course under circumstances fairness must be pushed aside, but for the most part, being fair to others should be a daily goal of every person. It starts with just treating people like you wish to be treated, but it goes far beyond a simple consideration. As a person who is in the construction business, Samuel Florman has seen his fair shares of both fair and completely unfair situations and job contracts. Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings talks about the bidding and pricing for the construction contracts, which got me thinking about how people in the industry of construction decide with each other what is fair and ethical. I had a brother who I would argue with constantly about him not being fair when we played any game. Since he was older I would tell him it was not fair and I should receive some sort of benefit. Years later I came to realize he did nothing wrong and he used nothing that was unfair to me to win, he was plain better than me with no aid.

My point is that the bidding process is similar in that some companies will just be better without the need to cheat to win. It may not seem fair that a company is able to bid for lower prices in the industry and get more work. A fair decision does not attack someone else and a lower bid is not an attack. The industry is tough competition, just like my brother was tough competition. There is no point in trying to place a blame on others for being fair when they do nothing to be unfair, which I know have mastered when it comes to my relationship with my brother.


What I have learned from my brother is to have gratitude, just like Mary Chapin Carpenter talks about in This I Believe II. Carpenter has learned that life is not always fair after she has a severe disease of clotting in her lungs. After a health scare, she been up and down on the mental scale, but she came to see that she is lucky enough to have today to live in. My advice is to enjoy the things that are still fair, and Mary Chapin Carpenter can tell you, because you never know when life will end. Be grateful that people are fair most of the time.

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