Fairness

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.–Ecclesiastes 9:11

“[Our] success seldom equals expectations. We must use means, but not trust to them: if we succeed, we must give God the praise; if crossed, we must submit to his will. Those who put off the great concerns of their souls, are caught in Satan’s net, which he baits with some worldly object, for which they reject or neglect the gospel, and go on in sin till they suddenly fall into destruction.”–Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.

The above verse and subsequent commentary pertains to “fairness”, not spelled out in either example. As some politicians tell us we must strive for an artificial fairness, Bible verses clearly suggest, as above, life is not fair.

Indeed, everything we do is subject to time and chance, especially if we neglect teachings of our faith. We do have control over our worldly deeds and efforts through time and opportunity, making every effort to avoid the traps set by Satan. The catch is this: Are those words and deeds properly directed, according to our faith?

While the Bible, at every turn, directs us to be caring and charitable to those less fortunate, we cannot control the twists and turns of life itself, that is for the almighty. Providing “fairness” to others in worldly goods, given the impact of time and chance over which we have no control, is apparently not possible.

Consider for a moment: “Clever people are not always wealthy. Wise people do not always get enough food. Often, intelligent people do not get the honor that they deserve. They remain poor and the rulers of their countries make foolish decisions without proper advice.” (http://www.usefulbible.com/ecclesiastes/time-chance.htm) Certainly there is nothing “fair” about these. Of course strength and intelligence give some people an advantage over other people, but there is no certainty.

It is clear, from an educational point of view, throwing money at our schools hoping for strength and intelligence is not working. In my view, our educational system is impacted by moral shifts in our society much more than it is by instructional staff. True, there are teachers who do not belong in the classroom and cannot be discharged easily due to artificial rules of “tenure”, but a student who comes to school without the will to learn becomes a difficult task for any teacher.

Many things impact the lives of students, home life and stresses, lack of parental guidance, single parent homes, income or the lack thereof, health, an adversarial neighborhood, bullying, too many distractions in technological gadgets and enticing television. The list is long.

Can we change what we have wrought? Perhaps, but it begins in the home with an abiding faith in the Almighty..

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