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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

You’ll Never Regret Being Fair

Robert Stevenson Blog - You cut the pie, I'll pick the piece

Being fair seems, in many cases, difficult for people. Many people are selfish and only want what is best for them. So, how can you reach an agreement of fairness between two parties? One excellent example is in the simple cutting of a pie. The easy way to make sure both parties are happy with the results is to have one person cut the pie and the other person gets to pick which piece they want. Simply Stated: “You cut the pie and I’ll pick the piece.”

Back in the 1700’s, Noah Webster wrote a tale in The American Spelling Book, which was studied by nearly every American child for generations. It is a wonderful example on the matter of fairness. Here is the tale: (I’ve taken the liberty to change a few words to make it easier to understand)

A farmer came to a neighboring lawyer, expressing great concern about an accident, which he said, had just taken place. The farmer stated:

“One of your oxen has been gored by a bull of mine and I would like to know how you would like me to compensate you for the damage my bull has caused.”

“You are an honest person,” replied the lawyer, “and I think it is not unreasonable for me to expect on of your oxen in return.”

“That seems more than fair,” quoted the farmer. “Yes, to be sure, that seems fair.”

But then the farmer stated: “I made a mistake – it is your bull who has gored my ox.”

“Indeed,” said the lawyer, “well that alters the case. I will have to enquire into this incident and if …”

Fair just flew right out the window when the deed was reversed. The issue should have been resolved quickly with the lawyer stating, “Then it is I who owes you an ox.”

I like to deal with fair people and if I don’t think I am being treated fairly, I will take my business somewhere else. One of the greatest forms of advertising is “Word of Mouth.” One of the best ways to get people to recommend you is to be fair … treat them as you would like to be treated. What is so hard to understand about that? I think Brian Tracy said it best when he stated:

“You will regret many things in life,

but you will never regret being

too kind or too fair.”


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