Friday, April 19, 2013

Sharing...Crime or Conscious?

   If you read the last post, then you might know where I’m going with this. From early childhood, we are taught to share. Interesting that we have to be taught that, since children instinctively share what they wish to share, and covet what they wish to keep. The lesson taught to us is that sharing is a good thing, and not sharing is bad. I really don’t agree with that, but society at large seems to have bought into this...and I don’t know why. I doubt many have even thought of the circumstances that seem to make sharing a crime in some cases, and an act of good conscious in others.

   Sharing food is often seen as a positive act. Indeed, not doing so (as evidenced by my own pizza story), can incite a gathering of peers to adopt a mob mentality. Suppose it wasn’t pizza but half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? It would be all good...until a newfound peanut allergy was discovered (uh-oh). That would be a hard lesson learned, especially in the case of peer pressured forced sharing the mob mentality tries to enforce. 

   The accusation that follows a decision not to share is, to me, so true that it’s silly. People are quick to throw out the label of being selfish...but every human being on the planet is selfish, in one way or another. The very same people that would easily hand over a slice of pizza (or readily offer the pizza belonging to another), won’t be as quick to hand over their car keys or keys to their home with the intent on “sharing” all they own. No, there seems to be limits to what can be shared.

   The share advocates don’t seem to be too keen on the idea of sharing their significant other. Refusing to share food makes you selfish...and it’s not alright to be that way, but refusing to share your boyfriend or girlfriend is just as selfish (heck, more so, as they have free will)...but that’s perfectly fine. Huh...?

   I can hear some of you now, thinking that these two examples are as far apart as examples of sharing can be...but when you really think about what it means to be “selfish” put yourself before others, there isn’t any difference at all. I mean, some people are serious share advocates, but refuse to toss the car keys, open their homes...or let other personal friendships romantically flourish, because they are putting their needs and desires before the needs and desires of someone else. I’d say those people are advocating the wrong philosophy.

   I’ve said it before, sharing is an option, not a mandate. Being selfish means we get to choose what we share, and when we share it. We are even so selfish and naive to believe we even get to choose who we share...without realizing that such a decision isn’t ours to make as everyone chooses for themselves who they share themselves with. Many will cry foul on this point, but would still have something negative to say about a single man or woman intent on spreading themselves the name of sharing.

   I think I feel a cold coming on. Perhaps I’ll share it with some close friends? I mean, it’s rather selfish of my friends to revel in my sharing good fortune with them, but want no parts of the other end of the spectrum. I believe in balance, and this scale is a bit off. 

   The next time you hear someone claim they are not a selfish person and that they believe in sharing...task them with the truth, or lack thereof, of their words. The truth is they will choose, like everybody else, what they are willing to share...and retain what they do not wish to share. By virtue of all of us being human, nobody is qualified to judge the decisions each of us makes on what we will and will not share (and yes, take that to the extreme...because life can be very extreme at times).

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