Fairness is treating each other even-handedly so that each person receives a share. With fairness, we meet everyone’s needs. We listen to the views of others with openness and expect to be heard with equal respect. We don’t focus on who is right but on what is right for all concerned. Without bias, favoritism, or prejudice, we level the playing field. We are as protective of the rights of others as we are of our own. We seek not to overpower but to empower. We are lovers of justice.


Hear one side and you will be in the dark; hear both sides and all will be clear.

— Thomas Chandler Haliburton

 The Practice of Fairness

  • I treat others justly.
  • I hear others points of view with openness.
  • I expect respect for my perspective.
  • I care more about doing things right than being right.
  • I believe in fair play.
  • I have a win/win attitude.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In Family Life

In a family, fairness means treating each member equally, respecting their perspectives and needs, and allocating resources and responsibilities justly. It is demonstrated through open communication that it fosters an environment where every family member’s opinions and feelings are valued and considered. Decision-making processes are transparent and inclusive, ensuring no one person’s voice or desires overshadow others. Fairness also involves:

  • Sharing responsibilities in a balanced manner.
  • Taking into account each family member’s capabilities and limitations.
  • Avoiding favoritism.

Ultimately, a fair family operates on principles of empathy and understanding, striving to maintain harmony and equal opportunities for growth and well-being among all its members.

Balancing Fairness

The virtue of Fairness is a beacon of light in our quest for a just and harmonious society. Integrating it with other virtues will provide guidance and balance.

      • Compassion: Pair fairness with compassion to ensure that we also consider each individual’s unique circumstances and needs while striving for equitable treatment. Compassion helps us understand that sometimes fairness means providing extra support to those facing greater challenges.
      • Wisdom: Wisdom guides us in discerning when a strict interpretation of fairness may not serve the greater good. It helps us make informed decisions considering long-term consequences and adapting fairness to the context.
      • Courage: Fairness should not be compromised in the face of adversity or injustice. Courage enables us to stand up for fairness, even when it is difficult or unpopular, and to challenge unfair systems or practices.
      • Humility: Acknowledging that our perspective may not always be the only valid one is an important aspect of fairness. Humility reminds us to listen to others with an open heart and a willingness to learn from their experiences.
      • Integrity: Fairness is rooted in integrity, and integrity ensures that we maintain consistency in our principles and actions, treating others as we would like to be treated.

Together, these virtues form the foundation upon which we can build a world where fairness is not just an ideal but a living reality for all.