Character Chats

How is taking turns, sharing, and apologizing fair?

Every month we have a word of the month. It’s our True Character program. This month’s word of the month is fairness.

Fairness means everyone should receive what they deserve and what they need. It isn’t that everybody receives the same — it’s that everybody gets what they actually need and what they actually deserve.

Today we’re going to talk a little bit about taking turns, apologizing, and sharing as they relate to fairness.

Who here shares with other people? Hopefully everybody shares with other people. Sharing can make friendships, games and activities fair.

But sometimes it’s hard, right?

Who do you share with and what do you share?

Sharing with friends

Do you share with your friends?

Hopefully you share with your friends.

It’s no fun to go to somebody’s house to play and they grab the controller and play the video game without ever giving you a turn.

That’s not fair, and it’s not fun.

Sharing with siblings

Do you share with your siblings?

Yeah, you better.

When you live under the same roof with somebody, you’ve got to share everything with them.

That way everybody gets their own turn. Everybody gets their fair share.

Everybody gets along.

Taking turns with classmates

Do you share with classmates? How about here in karate class?

Yeah, we share.

We take turns here, too. Right?

If we’re out there holding pads for each other, and you’re holding the pad and your friend gets to do the kicks, both sides, whole bod, lots of the music, that’s great. But if then it’s time to hand the pad off, “OK, my turn to kick,” and they look at you and say, “No” — is that fair?

No, that’s not fair.

Is that even fun? No, that’s not fun. It’s not just fair, it’s also fun for us both to take our turns and have an equal part in it.

When you take turns, what if you don’t want to take turns? Is that fair? No. Always hogging it, always doing your own thing, is not fair to other people. It’s not fun with other people. Fairness is when everyone gets what they need, and when we take turns with each other.

Making mistakes

Let’s talk a little bit about fairness and apologizing.

What does it mean to make a mistake?

A mistake is when we do something that we didn’t mean to do. Sometimes it’s when we spill something, or when we hurt someone’s feelings. Sometimes it’s when we break something or forget something at home. We all make mistakes.

Have you ever made a mistake at school? At home? Yeah.

You know what my test is to see if you’ve made a mistake? I tell my students put their hand over their mouth and if they feel themselves breathing, they’re making mistakes. Because if you’re living and breathing, you’re making mistakes. No one is perfect.  That’s just part of being human.


Would it be fair to make a mistake and then say it’s somebody else’s fault?

No. Part of making a mistake is owning up to it and apologizing for it.

It’s not fair to walk into the room, knock over a glass of milk and then turn to somebody who wasn’t even there and say, “They did it. I didn’t do it.” No, that’s not fair.

We don’t have fun, we don’t get along, and the day doesn’t go as well if we don’t apologize and own our own mistakes.

To be fair to everybody around us, we want to make sure that we own up for the things that we do wrong. Right?

Thanks, everybody, and we’ll see you out on the mat.
– Master Helsdon