February is Fairness
As we’ve seen with other character traits, there are a number of components of fairness – equality, equity, and justice.
Equality: The notion that everyone should have an equal opportunity and this idea is central to the American Dream. Special treatment is seen as the opposite to equality and is often viewed as the very root of corruption. And yet, civil-rights leaders have long argued, we don’t all start out from the same place. Therefore, in society privilege does matter. As a result, we’ve seen battles over equity.
Equity: Argues that fairness is only possible when we take into account the differences of ability, opportunity, and access and make adjustment based on those differences.
Justice: Our devotion to justice is deeply ingrained. This reverence is evident in all of America’s founding documents, we even pledge allegiance to a Republic that stands for “liberty and justice for all.”
Even though the underlying concepts of fairness and justice are simple, almost intuitive, applying them in real life can prove to be very difficult. Fairness is concerned with actions, processes, and consequences that are morally right, honorable, and equitable. In essence, the virtue of fairness establishes moral standards for decisions that affect others. Fair decisions are made in an appropriate manner based on appropriate standards.
We tend to think and speak in terms of fairness when we are dealing with the behavior of individuals in their everyday relationships. We also talk about justice and equity in the broader context of social issues and institutional obligations to individuals. Yet all three words apply to virtually any situation where we want to judge whether an action contributes to a good, rational, caring society.
When you think Fairness:
We must be impartial in thought as well as in action. - Pres. Woodrow Wilson
Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Fairness is what justice really is. - Potter Stewart
Monthly Character Focus:
Daily Pillar Focus
Not only do we focus on the trait of the month, but we also celebrate character every day:
Leatha Roland for North Middle School has created a monthly school calendar with a quote everyday, download it here.
If you like to read the CHARACTER COUNTS! Pledge over the PA system in the mornings here is a link to the pledge for download
Rapid City CHARACTER COUNTS!® provides youth a framework for ethical living based on basic values called the Six Pillars of Character®:
TRUSTWORTHINESS: Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country.
RESPECT: Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.
RESPONSIBILITY: Do what you are supposed to do • Preserve: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your choices.
FAIRNESS: Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to other • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly.
CARING: Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need.
CITIZENSHIP: Do your share to make your school and community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment.
Simply put, CHARACTER COUNTS! helps kids make better choices, making everyone’s life better.
Rapid City CHARACTER COUNTS! invites involvement on several different levels. We greatly appreciate the volunteers and partners who provide an example for the next generation by participating in CHARACTER COUNTS! If you are interested in volunteering or becoming a partner, contact Wes Brown, Program Director for more information.