Treat everyone fairly, not equally
Would you treat your family and a stranger equally? Would you treat your best friend and your enemy equally?
Let’s face it. Treating others equally is an ideal we can’t uphold all the time, and one we should not uphold all the time. There are definitely times for it, yes! But there are definitely many times when it isn’t appropriate. I’m not necessarily talking about the ideals of society here. I’m just talking about people with whom you have relationships. I’m talking about people who have earned your trust, respect, tolerance, favour, whatever. I’m also talking about people who don’t have to earn it, but for whom you have decided your love to be unconditional.
In many cases, treating people fairly means treating them equally. But when fair is not equal, then treating them equally is not right. Of course, I’m not talking about being racist or discriminatory in other ways in not treating people equally here. There’s nothing fair about that. Fair is equality in those situations.
There are also situations where people are just different. No reward, penalty, approach, or other things will work the same way for everybody. If you’re going to get the best out of people, you will sometimes have to work with what works best for them, which will differ with various people. That’s another reason why you can’t treat everybody equally. You’ll have to watch out for perception of others who may deem you showing favoritism in treating people differently, but if you do it well, perhaps with appropriate explanations, you’ll try to treat people fairly more than equally.