7 Week Study Program for
"The Bond"

By Lynne McTaggart


WEEK THREE
Talk for Speakers
Study Group Material



Week Three Message for Speakers

The Unifying Effect of Fairness

Preparation: Chapter 8 of The Bond plus The Fairness Campaign and The 10 Fairness Principles from www.thebond.net)

SUMMARY:
Fairness burns deep within the hearts of each and every one of us; neuroscientists have even discovered an “it’s not fair” spot in the human brain. Consequently, ideas about fairness appear to be universal. People in most societies – including indigenous populations – and citizens of all political persuasions have ideas about fairness that are surprisingly identical. In our hearts we know what is fair.

The extent to which any local or national community begins to fray relates to a deterioration of a sense of fairness and basic reciprocity.

Nevertheless, fairness is a practice that promotes unity in any community and can be easily restored. Scientific studies shows that in any society, if a culture of turn-taking falls apart with too many taking too much, all it requires is a small group of individuals committed to strong reciprocity to re-establish fairness and create a unified and highly cohesive community.

FULL TEXT:

Fairness burns deep within the hearts of each and every one of us. A sense of fairness in any society appears to evolve automatically as an inherent part of working together outside our immediate families. Even in primitive hunter-gatherer societies, human beings have an enormous distaste for hierarchical extremes due to a deeply and finely honed sense of fairness.

Fairness is hardwired within us; neuroscientists have discovered an “it’s not fair” spot in the human brain. Studies have demonstrated that people are less interested in receiving rewards for themselves than in rectifying financial inequality.

Ideas about fairness appear to be universal. People in most societies have similar sense of what constitutes fairness. Study after study of native indigenous populations and people of all variety of political persuasions reveal that when asked to design ideal societies they produce models of wealth and income distribution roughly like that of Denmark or Sweden, two countries widely considered among the fairest in modern western society.

Although we may be polarized in many areas, in our hearts all of us — rich, poor, Democrat, Republican — broadly agree on what is fair.

Fairness is about fair opportunity and about operating with integrity and with regard for the whole. ‘Fairness’ is not sameness, but an equal chance, an equal say in areas that affect our society, a reward commensurate with contribution, and a reward that does not come at someone else’s expense. It’s about honoring the connection between us all.

Our strongly honed sense of fair play includes a strong sense of the importance of reciprocity. Turn-taking entirely rests on the assumption that each of us will have our turn, and that if we do something for someone else, that they will return the favor.

The extent to which any society begins to fray relates to a deterioration of a sense of fairness and basic reciprocity. Epidemiological studies show that in countries with giant income disparity between the very rich and the very poor, both the most affluent and the very poorest suffer from higher rates of ill health, crime, mental illness, environmental problems, and violence.

With all of our current crises, re-establishing fairness is crucial to the survival of our American society – and indeed to the survival of us all. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to re-establish fairness. Scientific studies shows that in any society, if a culture of turn-taking falls apart with too many taking too much, all it requires is a small group of individuals committed to strong reciprocity to “invade” a population of self-interested individuals and re-establish fairness and generosity. When you become a spiritual activist for fairness, you set off a contagion of good will.




 

Week Three Lesson for Study Groups

The Unifying Effect of Fairness

Reading guide: Chapter 8 of The Bond plus downloads of The Fairness Campaign and The 10 Fairness Principles from www.thebond.net.)

Fairness burns deep within the hearts of each and every one of us; neuroscientists have even discovered an “it’s not fair” spot in the human brain. Consequently, ideas about fairness appear to be universal. People in most societies and citizens of all political persuasions have ideas about fairness that are surprisingly identical. By ‘fair,’ most of us mean just reward for just effort and an equal chance for everyone.

In our hearts we know what is fair.

Our survival depends upon our ability to to create a situation of ‘just desert’ – that we are commensurately rewarded for our efforts (or punished for our wrongdoing) and that each of us are given a turn. The extent to which any local or national community begins to fray relates to a deterioration of a sense of fairness and basic reciprocity.

Nevertheless, fairness is a practice that promotes unity in any community and can be easily restored. Scientific studies shows that in any society, if a culture of turn-taking falls apart with too many taking too much, all it requires is a small group of individuals committed to strong reciprocity to re-establish fairness and create a unified and highly cohesive community.



Weekly Goal: : To explore how to re-establish fairness in your life, in your community, your workplace and in your country.

Discussion Points:

• What is fairness and how is it different from across-the-board sameness or socialism?
Challenge: Based on your definition of fairness, please identify which current local and national practices are fair and which are unfair. What would you like to change?

• Why is fairness so essential in every community and why does it unite people?
Challenge: Can you see any association between some of the challenges and problems in your community and fairness or unfairness?

• What happens to the social fabric in nations when there is a large sense of unfairness?
Challenge: In America (or the country you live in), how have certain unfair practices hurt wealthy and poor alike?

• What do you consider unfair in your own life?
Challenge: What are some ways that you can become a game changer to encourage fairness and fair practices in your workplace, neighborhood or community?



Weekly Practice:
Learn the 10 Principles of Fairness and come up with a list of ways to apply them at home, in your neighborhood and on the job as a means of strengthening community.