I am tired of hearing those who are not satisfied with their position in life complain because “It isn’t fair!” Really? Define “Fair!” If you mean that you don’t have as much money, or things as someone else, or that you have to work hard for less, then you really need to learn the definition of the word!
Merriam-Webster defines “fair” as:
“fair adjective \ˈfer\
: agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable
: treating people in a way that does not favor some over others
: not too harsh or critical”
So, using this definition, let us look at the most recent use of the word “fair” and see if it fits. Currently, there is a movement, which hopefully doesn’t gain a lot of traction, to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Anything less has been termed as unfair by those who are pushing this issue. So, I will use a fast food worker as my example to compare to the definition.
A fast food worker needs no education to flip a burger. But, to make a much higher wage, a person typically needs one of the following: A college degree, a willingness to work at a job that is very physically demanding, a willingness to work in a very dangerous environment (firefighting, coal mining), or a very good work ethic and ability to learn and be patient, which allows the employee to work their way up the ladder.
Does an entry level employee at McDonalds have any of these? Maybe. But he/she still must allow the time necessary to show the ethic and ability. And the worker must be willing to wait for that opening which allows them to start the climb up that ladder.
I had an aunt, who started working at McDonalds when she was in high school. She did not go to college. She worked hard, and was a loyal, hard worker. She was eventually promoted to assistant shift manager. This wasn’t a huge raise in pay, but it was something to be proud of. She kept up her hard work, and showed her dedication, and continued working her way up through the ranks.
Eventually, McDonalds sent her to their own “Hamburger University” which taught her the complete McDonalds system, operations and some management skills. She went on to be a manager of a McDonalds in Morgantown, then moved up to be a district manager, and eventually became the manager of an entire region, to include northern WV, western PA and northeastern OH. She retired from McDonalds in her forties, with a retirement that would have taken her throughout a long life. Unfortunately, we lost her early this year after a long battle with cancer.
My point is this: Regardless of your path, be it education, hard work, or willingness to put your life on the line, the FAIR thing is that you get out of something what you put into it. Don’t expect to be able to reap big wages, just like those who earn their bigger paycheck through education or other means, if you are not willing to do what it takes to make it happen. Getting a bigger wage because the law says you have to is not fair. It is not fair to those who went to school for four years, made good grades, sacrificed to get that education, PAID for the education, went on the job hunt, and finally saw the fruits of their labor. Why…oh please tell me why…a person who is not willing to do that should obtain the same fruit? Isn’t that almost like stealing? If you get something that you don’t deserve, and didn’t work for, it not much better than legalized theft!
“Fairness” is a word which is thrown around mostly by people who get what they deserve, but not what they want. Some school boards have stopped the process of naming a valedictorian or salutatorian, or posting the names of those who made the honor roll, because it is “unfair” to those who didn’t make the grade. Really? Why is it unfair? Those who did the homework, studied, and did well on tests, earned the right to be on the honor roll! Those who did not put out the effort got exactly what they deserved! And this is fair!
So, let’s be FAIR about this. Work hard, in school and at work. Have a goal, which is higher than your current status. Don’t let the bumps that life throws at you stop you! Then when you are making $50,000 a year or more, come back and talk to me about fair! Until then, “Want some more fries!?”