Share that beat of love...
Updated: Jun 8, 2019
I have two boys aged 3 and 6. Anyone who has children will appreciate the difficulties they can experience with sharing. What are they afraid of when we ask them to share their toys with their friends or siblings? I suspect they don't think they will ever get them back. There is also an etiquette of sharing which is quite complex. For example, we had a birthday celebration for my eldest boy last weekend. My 5 year old niece came in with a cuddly dog, which belongs to my youngest child, let's call him T. T was not happy about this and wanted it back. My eldest then informed me that he had told my niece she could play with it. I explained that he couldn't offer that toy out as it wasn't his, and that it was T's special toy so he didn't have to share it. I was met with looks of utter confusion, but it kind of worked. In response, my lovely sister-in-law showed me an article about why we shouldn't always force our children to share. It is something as parents we sometimes do – and I'm not suggesting that sharing isn't a good thing, but there are limits.
If I was sharing a hotel room with a friend, I wouldn't then expect to share her toothbrush. I wouldn't want to sit on the loo at the same time as her, or ask her to share what she was typing on her phone to her partner. This has brought a vivid memory back to me of a trip I made years ago to Greece, island hopping with a uni friend. We had got off the boat at the wrong island and were sitting in this idyllic bar next to the beach waiting for the next boat to come. I was writing in my journal and she was reading a book. Once I'd finished writing, she asked if she could read it. I had to say 'no', as it was my journal. You know, a private journal. What's weird is that she actually knew that, and even weirder was the way in which she asked: as if she was entitled to read it, somehow. And then she made me feel stupid for refusing! It should come as no surprise that we are no longer friends. So what I'm saying is that there is a time and a place for sharing.
And then there's over-sharing. This is not just a phenomena of Facebook or other social media. Here there is an etiquette too. For example, if we don't know each other well, you should probably give me the abridged version of your latest bodily malfunction. On the flip side, if we are related I could live without hearing tales of your sexual prowess. (Covers ears, la la la!). It's not so much that I find things shocking - in fact, I am rarely shocked. It's more that I don't always know where to file the information. Or the images it conjures up. Then you can get people who go into all the minute details of everything, and you're like: “Yeah, she was wearing a blue jacket with a gold buttons and it was 3.15pm, but what happened to the baby?” - kind of thing. (I literally don't know where that's going...! This story is entirely fictitious, and any similarity to persons...etc) Talking of babies though, where over-sharing is okay in my opinion is between new or recent mums. Then you just need to tell people about it, to help yourself deal with it. Don't, however, mention the word 'tearing' to someone pregnant or trying for a baby. They will definitely go pale, and they may keel over.
Where sharing is massively positive is when we share an experience in order to uplift someone else; share a story to inspire; a joke just for the joy of laughing; a problem if we need help; an achievement because we are genuinely proud of ourselves or someone else; a blog because it's so interesting (I know; I'm subtle!). How about if we had a day dedicated just to sharing good news? (I might be stealing this concept from Danny Wallace's book 'Join Me', where he has Good Fridays when you just go around helping people.) What if we only heard good news on the TV or radio, read only positive stuff on our Facebook feeds or in the newspapers? How would we all feel about ourselves and those around us, about the world and everyone in it? Pretty fabulous, I imagine!
So back to kids and sharing toys. I came to thinking that this is more relevant to us, as adults, that we realise. If we experience lack, we want to know that it will be filled again; that hole, whatever it is we think we are missing. In our First World culture, we expect everything to run smoothly, we expect our needs to be met. That's fine, but what if our needs go beyond needs and become wants? What if those wants become not wants anymore but habits of thought? I've been looking into the Law of Attraction a lot lately. For those of you who are new to this, it basically means that if we are wanting stuff all the time, or thinking we don't have stuff, the universe thinks we like being in that state and gives us more wanting, more lack. Likewise, if we walk around believing we have plenty of that thing; be it love, money, wealth, health etc, the universe will deliver more of that to us. So maybe 'We are the world', to quote Michael Jackson or if you need more serious credentials: 'You are the World', to quote Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti.
And if we feel abundant, that's when we feel like we can give stuff away. This brought about a personal revelation that when I had significantly less money, I gave more away than I do now. It's possible that I've been sitting here believing I don't have enough, when actually I have literally everything I want. What if as a collective we could sit down and prioritise and then realise just how wealthy we all were, in so many ways? What if we all gave a little of our wealth away?
Sharing. It's a human thing. You don't have to share everything, but go on - share a bit of what might make someone happy. And now, while we are on the topic of wealth and in light of Trump's recent UK visit (and what an arse he is!), I shall leave you with the immortal words of legendary American comedian Bill Hicks, who said in his 1991 One Night Stand video: “You know all the money we spend on nuclear weapons and defence every year? Trillions of dollars? Correct? Trillions. Instead, if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded - not one - we could, as one race, explore outer space together, in peace. Forever.”
But maybe we could leave Trump at home. Peace out.