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I am kind, compassionate and cruel

I am just and unfair

I am quick and I am slow

I am known and unknown

I am friend and foe

Who am I?

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Rudyard Kipling! $\endgroup$ – Justin Thong Dec 10 '17 at 13:01
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I say the answer is

Death

I am kind, compassionate and cruel

For those who are suffering death can be compassionate. For others it can be cruel

I am just and unfair

Death can be seen as just for murderers and unfair for good people

I am quick and I am slow

Some people die suddenly while others suffer slow deaths

I am known and unknown

People see others die all the time but no one knows what happens after death

I am friend and foe

Death is a friend to those who are suffering but a foe to those who have a lot of life to live

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  • $\begingroup$ And we have our winner! $\endgroup$ – user43218 Dec 10 '17 at 20:09
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Possible answer (very meta)

A riddle

I am just and unfair

When solving a riddle, everyone approaches the puzzle from a unique perspective based on individual background, this makes it inherently unfair as certain "thinking styles" or creative perspectives are more likely to succeed at riddles. The fact that this perspective-discrimination is essentially random makes it just.

I am quick and I am slow

Riddle solutions can be arrived at quickly or slowly

I am known and I am unknown

Some people know the answer (the person posing the riddle) and some people don't (the participants)

I am friend and foe

A friend can be judged by the net improvement he/she adds to your life. A riddle can be intellectually stimulating like a friend. Sometimes the quest to solve riddle can be all-consuming or overstimulating, resulting it having a negative impact (foe).

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting take :) not the answer I had in mind however $\endgroup$ – user43218 Dec 10 '17 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ @user43218 Is it "fire"? It feels appealing. $\endgroup$ – prog_SAHIL Dec 10 '17 at 13:01
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Are you

Thoughts

I am kind, compassionate and cruel

You can think kind, compassionate or cruel thoughts

I am just and unfair

Sometimes they are justified and sometimes you can unfairly judge someone

I am quick and I am slow

Your thoughts can be formed quickly or slowly

I am known and unknown

Sometimes you don't even know what your thinking about. Another take could be that no one know's what your thoughts on a subject are until you tell then. Then they will know your thoughts.

I am friend and foe

Your thoughts can lift and build you up: "I can do this!" Or they can bring you down with negativity: "I can't do anything right". This line made me think of the saying "you are your worst enemy".

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  • $\begingroup$ This isn't what I had in mind but it does work well $\endgroup$ – user43218 Dec 10 '17 at 21:46
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My answer:

The internet.

I am kind, compassionate and cruel

I am just and unfair

People online can be kind, cruel, just in judgements, unfair in how they treat you.

I am quick and I am slow

High speed and low speed internet.

I am known and unknown

You have user names, but don't know their real identity.

I am friend and foe

People online can be your friend, or your enemy.

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It could be

JUSTICE

As,

Justice is equivivocal to both the parties involved and hence can be appearing of opposite qualities at the same time.

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