Definitions: (1) all sides treating each other truthfully and impartially; just; equitable; objective; evenhanded; (2) pleasant and courteous; civil; (3) free from anything which might impair the appearance, quality, or character; clean; pure; (4) agreeable to the eye or mind <especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless traits>; lovely; beautiful; attractive; (5) open; honest; (6) the perfect melding of justice and mercy

Synonyms: candid, clear, equanimous, frank, honest, open, reasonable, sympathetic, unprejudiced

Idiom: Let’s be fair and square.

• We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy. — Susan Margaret Collins (1952-) American Senator
• I don’t think fairness means that you give equal time to every point of view no matter how marginal. You weigh the sides, you do some truth-testing, you apply judgment to them. — Bill Keller (1949-) American journalist

Comment: Every circumstance cannot be fair, but if all parties enter a situation with an attitude of fairness, they will have a better chance of ending up with a satisfactory outcome for all. Take into consideration not only a concern for your interests, but also a healthy concern for the other person’s interests.

Observation: Many of the higher, or more complex, qualities need a solid foundation. The groundwork for fairness begins with a raw reading of the law (natural or legal), then a balanced reading of justice, then comes the question of fairness, after that patience, and then kindness. Only then can one take the next step and show loving mercy.