Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Sharing Business!

We all know sharing is the most admirable thing to do and harangue our kids into doing it, but how many of us actually do it ourselves? Do we share the narrow road with the oncoming vehicles when it is possible to do so or do we assert our right of way? Do we offer to share a seat with a fellow attendee at an event with limited seating capacity or do we hold on our seat as a right? Similarly do we let our kid get away with wanting to hide a toy in order to avoid sharing the same at a play date? If you’ve answered No to the first part of each of the above questions, I have to further ask you if your answer is No all the time. I for one believe that sharing is not practical all the time and there is always a distinction between sharing your toy or lunch and sharing something that results in the pains taken to gain that something go in vain! While it is more practical to flash your headlights to signal the oncoming vehicle to wait, or try to safeguard a particularly expensive toy, the value of which none of the kids realize in their game of tug-of-war, it also true that kids are not circumspect enough to understand this difference. What may start as not wanting to share a toy may grow into not wanting to share anything at all!  Finally….I  admit that  I have never been great with sharing (Confessions of an only child!) and in this aspect, I hope that my son doesn’t turn out like me!

I discovered a wonderful story in Last Friday’s Open Sesame,  a children’s supplement of Deccan Herald that will probably assist me in my endeavor. "Care to share" by Leela Ramaswamy  is a story of a little girl who loves chocolates; Ranjini loves chocolates so much that she cannot bear to share them! Ranjini wins a prize in a word game at a friend’s birthday party and to her chocolaty delight, the prize happens to be a big box of shell shaped chocolates. She pops  one into her mouth and finds that it tastes heavenly. She couldn’t wait to get home to show her mom. On her way home, she suddenly realizes that her cousins Ajay and Rinku are visiting and her amma would insist on sharing her prize with them! She feels it’s unfair to expect her to share her prize with her cousins as she had worked hard to earn it! So as soon as she gets home, she tucks the box deep into the lower shelf of her cupboard away from the prying eyes of her cousins. After a few days, her cousins leave and Ranjini rushes to her secret hiding spot to retrieve her prized possession. She is shocked to find her entire shelf covered in melted chocolate and all her dresses smudged with brown. She bursts into tears as her mother comes in asking what happened. When Ranjini lets Amma into her secret, amma observes that Ranjini has already been punished for the wrong she has done that will help her  remember that it does not pay to be selfish and dishonest. So it’s not just about sharing chocolates but it’s about caring enough to share! Lets hope we all learn from Ranjini's experience.   

1 comment:

  1. I liked Rainbow fish by Marcus pfister story as well when it comes to teach about sharing...But the review about the same by Kab (Does Rainbow Fish Promote Socialism? Materialism? Uniformity? Or Sharing?) gave a different perspective :)...I always saw that as a book to teach abt sharing, it worked with Rishi lot of times...Now i got a chance to say abt Ranjini..TQ :)