When grown ups don’t share.

Listen my dear, the meaning of “sharing” will evolve as you get older. Right now, it means lending out a crayon or two or taking turns on the monkey bars. Eventually, the definition of sharing will change, though. Rather than the giving of physical things, sharing will be about accountability, listening and helping when needed. Just like the kid on the playground who hogs the monkey bars or won’t get off the swing set, you’ll run into some grown ups who aren’t very good at sharing, either. The two things that typically cause this are obliviousness or control.

Recently, I volunteered for something. I don’t often do it, so I was kind of excited! As a newbie volunteer, I read up on exactly it was I was supposed to do. The day of my debut, I was paired with a seasoned veteran. Her first comment to me was, “have you done this before?” “Well, errr no,” I said, “but I read up and know what to do.” Well, my answer sealed my fate. It was as though I was invisible thereafter. This seasoned veteran took the reigns (that I never really had the opportunity to grab, let alone touch) and lead the entire kit and caboodle from start to finish.

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I’ll admit, she was a natural. I thought maybe this was a “training opportunity,” but there was no dialog before or after the event to that end, nor a natural point for me to jump in during. I felt kinda stupid. “Why am I here? Am I really needed? How can I appear as though I’m doing something?” I’m typically not too shy about  jumping into things, but I  wasn’t going to arm wrestle this woman over volunteering!

As I was standing there, observing, I thought, “Have I ever made anyone else feel this way? I’m sure. It’s easy to do when you know something well or you’ve got a knack for it. Have I been oblivious? Yep. Have I held the reigns too tightly? You bet. But here I was, on the other end feeling kind of…small.

Did I want this woman to take a breather and say, “Hey, you want to cover this part?” Sure I did. Because sharing is really about being considerate of others. If someone is willing to give their time, their ideas, their energy—make them feel worthwhile. Otherwise, you’ll just look like a playground hog…and no one wants that. Sharing is not always simple, and in some cases, it takes a conscious effort. Take the time to think about it my dear.

 

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