Inequality 101

I covered inequality 101 with the children this afternoon. It went like this:

We were playing a baby version of memory, only 6 matches (12 plush tiles). Jie-jie wasn’t really paying attention during the first game (which only lasted for 2 turns each) and she ended up with no matches while her sister has 4 or 5. Jie-jie, who tends toward the dramatic, began to cry, claiming it was “no fair” that she had ended up with no tiles at the end of the game.

“Well…” I responded, fully aware that there aren’t too many more years in which I am going to get to be an insufferable know-it-all of a parent without getting attitude, “do you think the rules were fair? That the game is a fair game?”


“Well, this is a topic that grown-ups spend a lot of time talking about. Some people would say that as long as it is a fair game, then it doesn’t matter that you ended up with nothing at the end of it. What do you think of that.”

“It’s not fair!”

“Well, other people say that it shouldn’t be about whether or not the game is fair, that in the end we should get the same number of tiles. What do you think of that?”


“Here Jie-jie,” Mei-mei chimed in. “You can have some of my tiles so we can have the same amount.”

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