Recently I read something about a mother who took her toddler to a playground with one of his favourite toys to show his friend. When he gets to the playground he is instantly set upon by a horde of children, all demanding that he ‘share’ this wondrous contraption, but he stands resolute (with his mother’s support); this is his toy and he will share it with whom he chooses.
My initial reaction to this story was complete disbelief. Why wouldn’t he share with the other children? Why didn’t his mother correct this horrible behaviour? As a society we are taught that we should share with those around us.
But then I took a second to think about it – This was his toy. He brought it for the sole purpose of showing his friend, not everyone at the swing set that day. If he can’t limit the people he shares this experience with he may not bring anything with him the next time – why would he, it just gets taken away to the other side of the park and buried in the sand box. Now all of his toys stay at home, and he needs to decide on a beautiful sunny day if he’d rather stay home and play with SuperGuy or if he wants to go to the park. This is just too important of a decision for a young child.
Take a step farther though, as adults we are constantly sharing. Taxes, donations, spare change for the guy with a pan flute and a German Shephard, This blog post *hint*. It’s all sharing, and it’s how society continues to function. By telling little Billy he doesn’t need to share are we turning future philanthropists to misers?
Just something I’m thinking about…
Good luck out there.