Monday, July 28, 2014
Bloggy, we wouldn’t do those things precisely because we learned to share and because we learned to wait for our turn. Hopefully we also learned not steal someone's sunglasses because we think they might look swell on our own face. Sharing is about enjoying something with another person. Sharing does not mean cutting in front of someone in line. Sharing does not equal taking all of something or taking an item forever. Sharing is about expanding your own personal joy by giving someone an opportunity to enjoy something too. I think I came across her post because someone shared it on Facebook.
Share the crayons with your brother. Share the Legos. Share the trampoline. Share the bowl of popcorn. Share your scooter. Share the bubbles. Share your shovel. Share the calculator. Share the Wiimote. In no scenario do any of these mean giving all the crayons away such that you don’t have any more crayons or that you never get another turn on Mario Kart. It’s about taking turns. It’s about getting to watch your friend have fun too.
The article reminded me of something I read years ago in the foreword of a book. It told the story of a group of children in Africa who were given an opportunity to play with a toy. My recollection is that whichever child accomplished something first would get to play with the toy. When the child “won” the toy, he was sad. When asked why, the child answered, “How can I be happy when everyone else will be sad?”
If I give a bit of my dessert to a friend and they love it, then I feel good. If I share my eye make-up with a friend who never wears make-up, watching her light up at her decorated self gives me joy. Giving opens up a whole bucket of feel-good feelings. I love sharing the extra fruit from our orchard and extra eggs from our chickens. I even like sharing when we don’t really have extras simply because people feel appreciative and that in itself makes me feel good.
The giver gets just as much—if not more—out of the act than the recipient. It’s about joy multiplying because more people are getting to experience something fun. Children who share learn about taking turns and empathy. They will learn about the joy of giving, the joy of helping. The joy of including.