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"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is fairness?

Fairness is a kind of justice, and justice can take many forms. It can be thought of as giving someone what he or she deserves, or as equal distribution of goods and services; and, to complicate the matter further, each of these views has many iterations and variations. "Justice" is a term that can be applied to nations, states, cities, and persons.

The question we need to ask is: what is it for you to be just? To answer this question we should emphasize what it is you can most control: how you treat people. With that in mind, justice should be thought of as treating people fairly, and this includes yourself.

Why is it necessary?

The University of Oklahoma is a community, and how you treat people within that community is going to have a great deal to do with how well you function within that environment. If you want/need to learn with and from others, it will not do you much good to insult other people’s ideas or their work. Nor will it do you much good to take from others, to be overly demanding, to be dogmatic or inflexible. You need to be able to compromise to be fair. You need to be honest, play by the rules, and not obstructive.

The virtue of fairness is difficult because it is often challenging to know what the fair course of action is. In order to exercise fairness, be sure to approach potential conflicts or disagreements with a sense of open-mindedness and a willingness to seek a compromise that is fair to everyone involved. Exercising the virtue of fairness allows individuals to see potentially beyond their own interests and reach a fair resolution.