Rules For Life – Sharing Again
by Ken La Salle
Welcome back to my continuing series of Rules For Life.
Do you remember sharing? When was the last time you shared?
Sharing is usually a large part of childhood. We shared toys and books and bikes, and even food. But have you noticed that, as people get older and older, a lot less sharing goes on? People drive their own car or, when they take mass transit, they take possession of their seat. People buy their own books and toys and when was the last time you saw an adult share food? It’s practically unheard of!
And yet, as I was sitting here this afternoon, searching the Internet for inspiration on what to write, I noticed a sad consistency in adults around the world: our inability or downright unwillingness to share. Poor folks know all about this no matter where they are. So do refugees. All they ask for is just a little of what everyone else has, after all, be it food or shelter or some small taste of the luxuries so many of us enjoy.
A clear indication of just how adamant adults are about not sharing can be seen in how we respond to those less fortunate. We turn away and behave as if they aren’t even there. Our politicians shout in shameless pride at how they will turn away refugees, build walls against those worse off, and even imprison those in need. What kind of society are we that we would put that much effort into not sharing? Imagine how much money our nations waste in an effort to prevent sharing.
As a United States citizen, I have watched with embarrassed awe as we have waged war against nations who have less and need more, out of little more than selfishness. We spy on our friends and sabotage our enemies, many of whom have committed no worse a crime than asking that we share.
Sharing isn’t just an act of giving, either. It can also be an act of taking, such as when we share in our responsibility towards each other, when we take action to repair man-made tragedies such as global warming, islands of pollution, or other more common man-made disasters. So often, when we should share responsibility, we point our fingers and say, “That’s yours. It’s not ours.”
For perhaps the worst example of how we refuse to share, all you really need to do is look upon the faces of our children. In refusing to share, we are leaving them a world tarnished by pollution, crippled by global warming, and doomed (ironically enough) by not raising them with the knowledge of how to share. We are the examples the next generation follows. So, when we refuse to share, we are teaching the next generation to refuse to share, which will then teach the next generation – and on and on.
So, when you see children behaving abysmally, keep in mind that it is we adults who have taught them how to act that way. Do you wonder why more young adults don’t vote? Why they don’t share in democracy? Or have you wondered why young people might appear selfish? Why they seem focused on material gain above all else?
We are why. We create the world we live in with our every act, no matter how small. When we turn our backs on our responsibilities, refusing to share in either the blame or the solution, we put our denial on full display that anyone with eyes can see.
The solution is clear, of course. All we need to do is to learn to share. And when our societies do not encourage sharing, we should take it upon ourselves to create avenues that allow, and even promote, sharing.
When we learn to share once again, we will remind ourselves and those around us that the world does not need to be such a lonely place, that we are all in this together, and only by acting together can we make this the kind of world we wish to share with those who follow us.
About the Author
Author and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com.