The historical and personal perspectives that I’ve offered up in some of my recent blogs were based in a simple, living truth: That the purpose of awareness is not to rise above nor to retreat from our humanity and the events of the world, but to embrace them more honestly and to engage them more compassionately and effectively.
We are in this together, this experience of being human…as members of a family…as part of a community…as citizens of a nation…as members of a living global entity.
To wish this weren’t so…to bemoan and lament our social natures, our fundamental connectedness…is emotionally immature and intellectually delusional.
As children, we were all introduced to the experience and the necessity of sharing…whether it was at the dinner table, the playground, the sandbox or the schoolyard. We were asked, guided and, in some cases, simply told to be fair and to share whatever it was we were attempting to horde or keep for ourselves.
Here’s the truth: For most of us, the act of sharing didn’t hurt us. We didn’t starve, it didn’t make us feel weak or soft and it didn’t ruin whatever fun we were having. In fact, most of us felt better when we shared. Our enjoyment was increased by the interaction with others. We were no longer alone and, hence, we felt less lonely. Sharing with others added value to the experience of the moment. We actually felt more capable and confident in ourselves and better about ourselves when we were sharing.
Most of us.
There were some young souls, when asked to share, who reacted by pouting, protesting and perhaps running off to their room (or elsewhere). Their response was more than a reluctance. It was a refusal.
No one has ever been admired or respected for that refusal.
Not as a child and not as an adult.
When we witness the refusal to share, as one parent to another, we offer our condolences for such behavior. We sympathize with the other parent(s). Life is going to be more difficult and less enjoyable for all of them until and unless sharing becomes possible.
As one adult to another, when we witness someone’s refusal to share, we offer our baffled looks and our pity. The person who is refusing to share is never the happy person in the group.
They may have all their ‘stuff’ (whatever it is…things, money, time, talent) but they live in fear protecting it and, even surrounded by a posse of peeps, they live lonely. We have seen this play out time and time again. We know its true. This is not our being envious of their ‘things’. We’re sad for what they are missing…the best part…the joy of sharing, of connecting, of cooperating as equals.
Our interdependencies are not the evidence of our weaknesses. We have always been stronger, fuller, better together than we ever could be by ourselves. Self-sufficiency is a neurosis because it is impossible. No person is an island nor would any healthy person try to be.
Relying upon one another is one of our strengths.
When we pull together, when we act cooperatively and pool our abilities, we are capable of much more goodness than when it is we sit apart and pout.
I believe in the goodness of us.
I would ask you to consider sharing in that belief.