“Hey, that’s not fair!”
Do you remember the first time you heard or said these words? Maybe it was while playing hopscotch, tag, or “Monopoly” with your friends or siblings. Or, like me, you may recall that expression from the school playground, when someone broke the rules of the touch football game. The fact is, most of us grew up in a culture that places great value on “fairness” and “playing by the rules.”
There’s just one problem with this noble ideal: the world simply doesn’t work that way. As the biblical book of Ecclesiastes observed, “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise… but time and chance happens to them all.”
Indeed, the physicists tell us that the universe tends toward maximum disorder, or “entropy” — not fairness! And yet, most of us react to injustice, mistreatment, and even natural disasters with a sense that we have been treated unfairly — as the B.J. Thomas song put it, we feel that “Somebody done somebody wrong!”
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