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Parenting with a Story by Paul Smith

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SEVENTEEN

Fairness and Justice

Being good is easy, what is difficult is being just.

—VICTOR HUGO

Every culture has a code of conduct by which behavior is measured. Some is written in our laws, and we often learn of those expectations in formal schooling. But much is left for subtler forms of influence. We generally learn those on our own through the reaction our behavior elicits from others and how we feel about their actions toward us. In his 1902 publication The Seven Cardinal Virtues,1 Reverend James Stalker describes three schools of justice we use to regulate our behavior: justice of the law, justice of public opinion, and justice of conscience. Interestingly, he describes them in that order as having an increasing degree of strength ...

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