Whenever we think of equal treatment, we automatically think it equals fair treatment. Just because everyone is treated equally, it does not mean that it is fair. Everybody's situation is different. No one is exactly the same not even identical twins. We cannot presume that treating everyone equally is the same as treating them fairly. For example, if a mother has been giving her sixteen year-old son the permission to drive, it does not mean that she has to allow her five year-old daughter to do the same. If the mother does not allow the five year-old to drive, she is seen as being unequal because she is allowing her sixteen year-old to do so. What the mother is doing is not equal but fair. It is fair because the five year-old is obviously too young to drive. When the five year-old turns sixteen, she will then be allowed to drive. That is fair. Things and situations should be based on the merits of the situation. It will not mean equal treatment for everyone but by doing what the mother is doing, she is being fair to both her children. Fair treatment should be based on treating each person accordingly. Another example would be that two students both forget to hand in their homework on a particular day. One student is chronically late, and one has never been late before. The teacher will then base her judgement on the students" background and the situation they"re in. The teacher will most likely be more lenient with the student that has never been late, and probably will penalize the other student more strictly. The teacher is not being equal, but she is being fair. The "good" student probably just forgot their homework that day. It was only the first time, so the punishment will be less severe. Criminals get treated the same way. If it was a first time offender, their punishment is usually lighter than that of a repeat offender. That is fair because if its only the first time, people should be given a chance to redeem and correct their mistakes, but if they repeatedly commit crimes, then their punishments is not severe enough to make them change.