After deleting my Instagram account, I have been thinking a lot about sharing.
When I was growing up, sharing was partly learned. It felt hard at first. It usually meant giving away something that you wouldn’t get back. It meant a comittment of a resource to some person or purpose. Like a juicebox at lunch, or a seat at a table.
However, once a person learns to share, it feels good. At its root sharing is an inclusive act. Inclusivity feels better than exclusivity. Generosity has been proven to produce good feelings in giver and receiver.
Along with this, there is an unlearned human need to share. Sharing begets connection, which creates and maintains relationships. And you can see the innate generosity of humans in how children always want to help.
The earth is the original sharer, or gift. Being born on earth, we are completely dependent on her. Just how a grizzly is dependent on salmon runs, so we are dependent on rainfall, snowmelt, soil, weather, trees… As society has expanded, and technology has grown, we are actually more dependent on the earth than before—though at first it seems opposite. The ways we are dependent on it have simply been confused and hidden.
The ability to share comes from having something. I find it interesting I often see those with the most reluctant to share, whether it’s friends, resources, space. And those with the least the most willing.
I think about the original gift of life, of just having a life, and it inspires, in me, a feeling of wanting to give back. I think this is where the deepest parts of my motivation to keep writing, keep working come from.
Thanks for reading, and check out this podcast episode about sharing and gifts