My Top Resolution For 2009

Dec 24 09:23 2008 Andrew Cox Print This Article

I'm not that great at keeping New Year's resolutions, but this one is going to stick - I promise. I resolve to wipe the F word "fair" from my vocabulary, from my thinking, from my emotions. How did I arrive at this resolution? Read on.

I'm not that great at keeping New Year's resolutions,Guest Posting but this one is going to stick - I promise. I resolve to wipe the F word "fair" from my vocabulary, from my thinking, from my emotions.

How did I arrive at this resolution?

The biggest reason is that "fair," in many of its form as an adjective, is for losers and whiners. My goal is to help people multiply their s uccess - and the use of "Fair" isn't going to make that happen.

There is no more overworked, misunderstood, manipulative, emotional word in our vocabulary than "fair." Politicians use it to create emotions, unions use it to advance their own ends - as do organizations, sales people use it to assure prospects that what they are presenting is good for everybody, people use it to describe what they see as not in their interests, leaders - well some leaders - use it to shift opinion to their side, whiners use it to complain without ever having to be clear about their grievance, let alone provide a solution.

The uses of the word are endless. Merriam Webster includes thirteen different definitions in its use as an adjective, and many more in its use as a noun. The one I like the most says "apparently favorable, but really false: fair (specious) words. "

What is "fair" is in the eye of the beholder - my fair and your fair may be worlds apart. It's possible we may be able, through communication and negotiation, to arrive at a "fair" solution - although the word more often serves as a barrier to effective communication. Or maybe the only thing "fair" is if you see things my way - or vice versa.

I know one thing about the word "fair"- when I hear it being used, I put my hands in my pockets to ensure no one can pick them.

In this last election cycle I heard so many "fairs" that I could gag. I heard it from both sides - "fair" is bipartisan. Anyone can use it - it's powerful, emotional, and fuzzy. Six year olds use it to express displeasure when Mom sends them to their room. And that six year old is not much different - and probably more accurate - than some of our candidates for public office.

It's a word that many use to get sympathy for loss - in its many forms. And it works - sometimes. But for every time it works, there's another time where it just shouts "loser" to those who hear it being used.

It's an entitlement word. I want my "fair share." Usually uttered by someone who has no more right to his or her "fair share" than the man on the moon. 'Fair's" a word that is often linked up with "rights" - like in "I got my rights to a fair share." Say's who?

"Fair" is a word that people use to try to get out of things. Right now the big flap here in Phoenix is about the use of electronic cameras on freeways to control speed. It's argued that their use is not "fair" - as if law enforcement was somehow more a game than a necessary fact of life in our lives. Do I have sympathy for the speeder clocked at 121 miles an hour in a 65 zone? Not really. But their attorney will defend them with at least one "not fair" argument - and they may win. Who said the law is rational? I'd like to see judges throw attorneys out of the courtroom for the use of the word. Except there wouldn't be enough attorneys left over to protect the rights of those treated "unfairly."

I think you get the picture. I ask you to join me in seeing that "fair" is put back where it belongs - as a noun. "I went to the County Fair," "she has a fair complexion" - although that one is borderline. After all, have you ever heard anyone being described as having an " unfair" complexion? But you get what I mean.

Let's not get trapped into its use - as a word, as an emotion - as a way of judging. Let's take the world for what it is, and not try to make it what it isn't. Join me in resolving to eliminate "fair" from our thinking.

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Andrew Cox
Andrew Cox

Andy Cox helps individuals, teams and organizations identify and develop their Multipliers of Success - the unique set of Behaviors, Motivators and Personal Skills each client needs for success. Contact Andy at acox@consultgroup.com Visit his website for information on how he can help you discover and develop your Multipliers of Success. His website address is http://www.coxconsultgroup.com

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