Committed  to fairness

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

It is true. I believe in fairness, the first word in the definition of equity in my Merriam Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.

It was a big deal where I grew up. My parents put great energy into being fair. In fact, I was 20 before I realized the world wasn’t fair. And that instance was an unfairness toward another individual. That commitment to fairness remains a big part of me.

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I grew up in an area that was similar to Isle of Wight in a number of ways. It was rural and a relatively short distance away from easily navigable metropolitan areas. While there were a number of people who commuted into the two nearest cities to work in offices for companies that had international reach, the land around my high school was farmed, and when the windows were open, we could smell the manure that had been spread on the fields.

A major difference that I can see is that it was north of the Mason-Dixon line. Now, my parents came from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which was fairly Southern in its approach to life. And it was years later that I learned that Maryland would have seceded from the Union at the time of the Civil War, if Lincoln hadn’t locked up all the legislators so they couldn’t vote.

My college was in the town identified as “High Water Mark” during the Civil War and it wasn’t until I moved to Tidewater that I heard the term “The War of Northern Aggression.”

As my major focus in this life has been a move toward greater understanding of being human, how it is that we work, what makes us tick, I have come to subscribe to the Nature/Nurture position that says 40%-60% of who we are is due to our biology, and 40%-60% of who we are is due to our environment. I like to think of it as: 40% of who I am is due to my biology, 40% of who I am is due to my environment and the 20% in the middle is up for grabs.

Of course, biology affects environment and environment affects biology all the time. I have lived in Isle of Wight County for 27 years this November and it has been in the last three years that I felt like I had been here long enough to “have an opinion.” I’m hoping to be here another 20-30 years as I become increasingly rooted in my adopted home.

Jo Weaver