Posted on: February 19, 2020 Posted by: A.L. Jonas Comments: 0
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Fairness is very important in protecting relationships whether it be family, work or in the community. It is about respecting, recognising and giving importance to the other person. It enables cooperation between individuals and fosters a positive and genuine relationship with others. On the contrary, when we feel that something is unfair, it can stir unwanted emotions like sadness, anger, frustration and sometimes even vengeance. The I Cut You Choose Rule ensures fairness thus following the rules protects relationships.

To be fair means to be impartial. We must always treat people equally regardless of social class, race, gender or age. Unfortunately, to practice fairness is easier said than done. It is always a challenge because fairness is often based on perceptions not intentions. 

I Cut You Choose Rule

The good news is that there is one life rule that we can use as guide when it comes to fair division – the I Cut, You Choose Rule. The rule simply states that if you have to divide a resource equally between two parties; the  cutter will receive the last piece.

Let’s take for example, your children are fighting over their toys. Instead of reprimanding both of them, what you do is assign one child to divide the toys into two piles while the other child gets to choose first. In this case, both parties win. In addition, you are teaching your children the principle of fairness.  You can use this strategy in your everyday lives.

This strategy is widely use when it comes to business dealings because it gives power to both parties. It ensures equality. The one assigned to divide the resource will always make sure that the division was done fairly. This strategy protects not just yourself but your business partner as well. It shows respect to the other person.

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.

J.K. Rowling

The I Cut You Choose Principle was first introduced in the bible in the Book of Genesis from the Old Testament. Abram journeyed out of Egypt with his wife and his nephew, Lot. Both Abram and Lot were wealthy men with abundant supply of gold, silver and livestock. However, their servants kept on arguing. To avoid further strife among their servants, the two decided to separate. Abram was the one who divided the land into the western and eastern parts but he allowed Lot to choose which part he wanted first. 

Although there are instances wherein it is impossible to to divide something perfectly equal, it is still up to the individuals involved if they think something is fair or not. An example of this is an inheritance issue where heirs need to divide properties such as artworks, antiques and jewelries.

Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need. –

Rick Riordan

This is also true when it comes to business relationships. In business, it is very difficult to measure fairness because partners don’t usually contribute the same thing. Some partners contribute money while others contribute their time and effort. That is why, it is very hard to evaluate. By using this principle, partners would be very careful to ensure that the division of resources is as fair as possible. At the end of it all, it’s not about a mathematical formula or something; what is important is how the other party felt during the division.


Feature Image by Ria Algra from Pixabay Images

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