RE: Shared Utilities: the fallacy of fair
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 21:06:59 -0500
One of the most persistant fallacies in many groups, in my opinion, is that 
"things have to be equal or it's not fair". This is especially prevalant in 
work situations, where "everybody does their fair share".  There are folks who 
will spend a lot of their time trying to figure out how to make things "fair". 
I tend to smile and endulge these people in their fantasies, while trying 
gently to point out that there is really no such thing.

My experience teaches me that in a working community setting, individual 
contributions all even out over time. Somebody who has no interest and is 
uninvolved in the water system planning is just the perfect person to teach 
the kids how to read. 

Fairness is not everyone paying or working equal, but lays in another 
direction. In a working community, people see where the spikes of 
overcommitment are and adjust accordingly. When it works really well, people 
know who in the group tends to over commit and then burn out, and then you 
quietly work to reduce that persons load so they don't even notice - it just 
works, and they, and you, are both happy.

Rob Sandelin
feeling philosophical after spending the morning in the woods with most of the 
Sharingwood Community and enjoying the gifts that each person shared.

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