Fair Doesn't Always Mean Equal

by Kelli Dennis with Heather Trent Beers

I’d had enough of “That’s not fair!” It was time to bake a cake—carrot, my three kids’ favorite.

“We’ll all help, and then we’ll all eat a piece because that’s fair, right?”

The kids grinned and nodded.

We gathered our ingredients. I read the recipe. Aubree measured two cups of flour. Cody measured two cups of sugar. Tyler measured two cups of shredded carrots. Next was one-half teaspoon baking powder.

“That’s not fair,” I said. “We should use two cups.”

The kids’ eyes widened. “Won’t that ruin our cake?”

I shrugged. “I’m just trying to be fair.” So in went two cups of everything else: cinnamon, cooking oil, chopped walnuts and raisins. Tyler, who has a sensitive stomach, turned a little green when we added the eggs. After the cake was baked, I cut four equal pieces.

Instead of digging in, the kids hung their heads and clamped shut their mouths.

“Fair doesn’t always mean ‘equal,’ ” I said. “Fair is what’s right and good for each person.” The kids nodded.

It was an expensive lesson—but well worth it.

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