Thank you for sharing!??

I woke up this morning already thinking about this blog page!How did something I had never heard of until a few years ago ever become SO important? The answer seems to include, don’t cringe, sharing.

 

We are taught as children that sharing is good manners. If we want to have friends we have to share, whether we want to, or not. And I often wonder how much of this particular type of sharing leads to problems in later life. The consequences of sharing when I’d rather not are different than the consequences of sharing when I do so freely.  Seems strange, yet I believe it to be true.  What would the world look like if people only shared when they chose to?

 

I have seen, first hand, that children given the choice, often choose to share. Having the freedom to say NO seems to increase the likelihood of saying yes! And the yes led to a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. How often have “good manners” resulted in resentment, contention and isolation? The tendency towards outside in living is so ingrained in most of us, we don’t seem to know it.  It’s a cage that is difficult to break out of because living inside out, even briefly, can be uncomfortable.  Like living in a foreign land without knowing the language or customs.  Reverting to habit is just about automatic.  When I give myself permission to say no I am bombarded by the voices from the past telling me how selfish and self centered I am, among other things.

What I thought this was going to be about was the benefits of sharing: thoughts,ideas,goals,activities,skills and also toys and possessions.  One of my quirks is that I’m usually more than willing to share material things quite freely.  Other things, intangible things, not so much. I guess the first five things are intangible. While revealing them to others might make them more real, can you touch them? OK, it doesn’t matter and going down the rabbit hole won’t alter that. The thing is, when I cook a meal or bake something, I enjoy it more if there is someone to share it with. When I read a book I get more from it when I discuss it, whether in a group or with just one other person.  The list could go on, but, I think you get the idea.

With all the different diets and health concerns, not to mention personal likes and dislikes, allergies, styles of cooking…sharing a meal has become a challenge. It just doesn’t seem to be as much fun anymore.  Gone are the days when the expectation was that people would eat whatever you put on their plate.  That’s why I like pot luck so much now. prepare one dish, set it on a table with a choice among others and don’t take it personally, whether your container is empty or not at the end of the meal.

I stopped for awhile cause that last paragraph sounded like whining.  Still not sure, but, I’m leaving it.

Sometimes,when I hear thank you for sharing, I cringe.  It has become what I would describe as cutesy.  One of those in vogue expressions that can trip from anyone’s lips in any setting. I’ve been guilty of using it sarcastically myself a time or two. It’s an expression I first heard in twelve step meetings that has made it’s way out to the world at large.  Usually, if you hear it there, it is meant sincerely because it follows someone having spoken from the heart.  Sometimes it sounds pro forma even there.  A courtesy and an invitation for someone else to speak up.  I guess what’s stirring around in my cranium is a resistance to chorus-like responses.  Sometimes an original response is called for and more apt to sound genuine and sincere.  Then again, maybe it’s just me!

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