I get that many folks feel it is important to teach children that “the world is not fair”. Also that some folks use that as an excuse to be crappy with kids, or to avoid the stresses and complexity of trying to figure out fairness with kids.

We don’t need to worry about teaching kids the world isn’t fair. It isn’t. They get that. They get that very early, from their first experience with a bully at school to when they ether have to share a bed-time as an older sibling or don’t get to share a bed time as a younger sibling (both of which can feel unfair).

They’ll learn it when some teachers get weirdly defensive when a child shows giftedness, or doesn’t show compassion for one’s insecurities or challenges. They’ll learn it as they increasingly tune into the news, learn about history, and try to make their place in the world.

What we need to teach them is that the unfairness of the world is no reason to compromise in our striving for fairness. That the world can be a wretched, dark, depressing and hopeless place and that this DOESN’T mean that we shouldn’t strive for kindness, compassion and love.

Maybe we need to model the aching, vulnerable, incredibly hard process of trying to make goodness, kindness and fairness in a world regardless of whether it’s appreciated, rewarded, or successful. That the choice and the act themselves have merit. Striving to be just, kind and loving in a world where that’s normal is normal. Striving for these in our world, and seeing, appreciating and supporting the ways in which others are seems like a pretty great adventure.