We are all unique and we all have strengths which allow us to contribute to the world. In the early 2000’s, Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Christopher Peterson developed the VIA Character Strengths. Their research determined that there are 24 common character strengths that each of us possess to one degree or another, giving us a common language to use, but still recognizing that each of us is unique.
Each of these Character Strengths fall under one of six broad categories called Virtues. These Virtues and Character Strengths have proven to be universal across cultures and nations. Over the next few weeks, we will explore each of the 24 strengths that we all share, yet make you uniquely you!
Next we will look at the Virtue of Justice, which brings together those strengths that make life fair. This can manifest in equity, equality or need and strives for living and working together in harmony.
The Character Strength of Fairness is about everyone being treated equally and fairly, giving everyone the same chance and applying the same rule to everyone. This strength relies on two types of reasoning - justice and care. Justice focuses on logic and principles to determine moral rights and responsibilities while care brings empathy and compassion into the mix. People with this signature strength actively look to understand the perspectives of others and are very conscious of how their own behavior impacts others.
The absence of Fairness can show ups as following the opinions of others or being perceived as having no moral compass. Its opposite shows up as bias or prejudice. In excess it can lead being aloof and overly objective. Understanding these opposites, absences and excesses can help us identify Fairness in ourselves and in others.
Fairness is a strength that has the power to change the world. Each of us has to look within to identify how we treat people that are different from us. When you encounter those personal biases, which we all have, how do they show up in your life? Do you admit when you've been unfair to someone and try and correct the situation? Do you allow others to disagree with your ideas and assumptions in healthy ways? Look for opportunities to see how Fairness is manifesting around you. Learn to recognize when Fairness is absent and find ways to bring about change. The world will only ever be as fair as each of us makes it.
If you would like to learn more about Fairness and your individual strengths, you can visit the website below and complete the free VIA Character Strengths Questionnaire.