Finding Fair… is it over there?

Today’s topic is “Finding Fair” and I’m having a very difficult time finding some kind of a consistent pulse for my perspective on the subject.

“Life ain’t supposed to be fair!”, comes to mind first and that’s not really where I want my mind to be. So I have to step back and think about what fair means. Really, what does it mean to be “fair”. And who determines the fairness factor and whether we’ve reached it?

As a parent, “fair” might be the balance in the middle of two siblings. Yet, if you change any one variable in the equation that is supposed to result in fair, the result changes. Who gets more video game time and what’s fair about which games they play. Or who gets how much of the cake, not to mention who gets to pick what flavor it is… or do I just make one flavor for each child and is that fair to me. It’s all perspective.


Fair is really how we see it.

The more I think about it, the more aggravating fair appears. Usually, whatever is fair to one person, may not quite seem the same to someone else. My 13 year old doesn’t think its fair that he has to wash all the dishes all the time. I, however, don’t think its fair if it were left up to me to buy all the groceries, make all the meals and wash all the dishes when there are 5 bodies in the house… most of them capable of helping out. So what’s really fair and who decides? In the end, I decide what is done, fair or not.

The bottom line is learning to compromise without completely short changing yourself or even worst, leaving yourself out all together. Saying that, however, I really don’t like the stereotypical views of compromising. To me it seems like too many people give in and call it a compromise. That’s not compromising at all. That’s one person winning while another loses, but maybe only if they feel they have lost. Compromising is about both sides winning… a little. Teaming playing is more the theme. “You take the right and I’ll take the left and we’ll meet in the middle” is how fair should be and how compromising really is supposed to work.

This all goes back to the preschool lesson of sharing. Fair is about sharing. Compromise is about sharing. Sharing the work load, sharing the burden, sharing the expected outcome. I don’t mean sharing as in agreeing. I mean sharing as in dividing up the cake… or the mud pie if that’s what it turns out you’re dealing with.


So maybe finding fair is about learning to understand, appreciate and work with the expectations of others and sharing in the process to find an outcome that everyone involved likes… or at least isn’t unhappy with.

Art: Perspective and Ying Yang Hug

Making the middle seat a great big hug

I’ve been struggling the last few weeks with various conflicts. I have found myself smack dab in the middle on more than one occasion for more than one topic and I’m feeling less and less like hugging anyone.

So how do we turn this around? Why bother being in the middle to begin with?

It’s a heck of a lot easier to draw straws, pick a side ‘n stick or just run the other way and pretend there is no reason to be involved. But that is not how I play. I stand where my beliefs are and as cute as I think cows can be, I don’t follow the herd unless the herd is where my beliefs live. (Ice cream herds, I’m SO there!)

Neopolitan Cows

An interesting fact about me and choosing sides
Because my beliefs often cross boundaries, I frequently find myself not only in the middle, but defending pieces and parts of both sides. Full body armor is usually not enough and my tendency to look for the peace keeping tactics specific to each side don’t always suffice. I am quite accustomed to hearing the rants and ravings from one side only to listen to just as many from the other… and there I sit, not always so quietly in the middle, absorbing it all so I can come out from the darkness with a light to shed on the entire situation.

Usually neither side realizes how much time I spend defending them to the other… I do it because I believe in them, not because I want treats and thank yous.

So I wonder, when my chair isn’t appreciated in that middle spot.. and someone feels the need to complain that I’m there, would their view change if they knew how much I just stood up for them? Or would they continue to complain about me? Honestly, I think they expect it more than they would appreciate it. Yet, I continue to sit in this chair I’ve created. Comfy or not, it’s mine and I’m proud of it.

I’m a big believer in direct communication
Although I will discuss issues behind closed doors and I will share insight and opinions in closed conversations. At the end of the day, the conversations are always opened to those involved regardless of how personal the issue might have originated. Why? because I think its important to be upfront. It’s important to let others know how I feel about them and how they are impacting my life. I also think its important to realize not everyone is going to agree and its ok to not follow the same path. The “end of the day” might be weeks from now, but it eventually comes and the whole thought process is shared. Heard or understood, I don’t always know. I put it out there and let it go.

Communication - Penguin Humor

Now here is a disappointing reality
What I am learning most recently is that no matter how upfront or forthcoming I am, there will always be those that face-to-face will be on one side, yet when out of sight, join the other team. Maybe they were a competitor all along or maybe they just didn’t want to hurt my feelings with their criticisms face-to-face. Either way, its dishonest, disappointing and disheartening. It makes me deeply sad to witness this kind of behavior, even moreso when its individuals I hold close to my heart.

How tiring would that be to play both sides? How exhausting is it to have to carrying around so many faces or game bags? I can’t do it. I have a hard enough time remembering where I put my socks I just put on. How could I doodle big grins if I spent so much of my time angry or disappointed or irritated? That’s like trying to enjoy a delightful slice of cheesecake with a green olive in your mouth.

There’s a fine line between respect and polite behavior vs pretending to get along just to save face in front of whomever.

So how do we make it all work when things seem to be a tighter squeeze than we’d like?

No, we don’t run and hide or pick a side we don’t 100% support. We stand our ground. That’s it. In the long run one side will loosen up, lose interest or move on. Until then, pretend its a great big hug and find that happy place way down deep in the midst of your being. It is there and it is waiting to embrace the you that you are trying to hold true.

I Love Hugs

Making new connections

Today I am waking up to a pile of new opportunities because I am surrounded by unfamiliarity (oh thats a fancy fun big word). I am away from home, surrounded by many people I’ve never seen let alone met before, yet we all have one thing in common… business online. We are coming together for a conference, each of us at different levels of knowledge and involvement on the topic. We all have different, yet possibly similar, goals and expectations for this experience. And, we’re all here to make new friends.

I Love My Job Penguin

At least, thats what the end result is whether we intend it that way or not. It is after all, a business function… who makes friends in business, right? We’re here for business. To do business. To expand our business horizons and make our bosses or our bottom lines a little happier. Business friends are usually called coworkers or colleagues aren’t they? I am mean this isn’t the place for making real long lasting friendships is it? – there isn’t time for that kind of socializing

Not in my world!

Some of my absolute dearest friends are people I’ve met through the commonality of what we do to pay our bills. Here at Affiliate Summit, there is no exception. Once again I have met more wonderful people. Hear more fantastic stories; been greeted with more smiles and hugs and happy hellos… from people I’ve just met in the last 72 hours. This is why I keep coming back!

Sure, some people are here to network, not make friends. Meet new faces, add new names to the list and connect on a professional, gotta get things done, kind of agenda. Good for them! If it works, keep plugging along. Sometimes, when you aren’t looking, there’s more. Always keep an eyeball open for it…

Meeting new people means more to me. Connecting with old friends is something I treasure. I am delighted to wake up to such a great opportunity as I have today… to make new connections that could last a lifetime. I’ve made many new friends and am overjoyed that I can returned home tomorrow with new faces and names on my Christmas card list. – I can’t wait for “tomorrow” to share and grow together!