I walked into a room of under 18 year olds. They were bouncing off the walls energetic and as I ascended the stage there came a strangely peaceful quiet. I sat on a chair and started to eat from a bag of lollies. It was a large trash can of sweets. Of candies. Of chocolate. 70L in all. As i continued eating one after another, some of the young people began yelling out.
GIVE US SOME!
C’mon you have so much, why can’t we have some.
i stopped eating and threw one into the mass of bodies. The young people went nuts. Like a competition to see who could make the biggest ruckus, the sea of young people pulsed and made waves to be surfed convincingly by the grommets that made up the white foam of the human ocean trying to get that one piece of chocolate.
I then emptied the bag as quickly as possible. Getting at least 5 pieces of candy to each person in the room and ending myself with two or three pieces left and an empty bag.
1. Sharing is literally the best.
In a room of chocolate starved young people, the 70 of us enjoyed it together a lot more than weeks of solo chocolate eating ever could. We shared a pleasurable experience that would be talked about for a while. It would be remembered in moments of possible selfishness, and reciprocated across the world to engage others in the precious moments of chocolate hitting blood streams.
Not sharing, would have ended with cavities, chocolate coma and sadness.
Sharing, paid into social capital, friendships, respect and a shared experience of many.
1a. I love Pizza.
I can eat a lot of pizza. But i don’t need a lot of pizza. Weeks ago I was sitting in my friend’s room about to watch a movie. He hadn’t eaten dinner, but he brought a pizza into the room. He went on to give three of us a piece of that pizza. He sacrificed a third of his pizza for others, to make us more comfortable, to give us a little piece of something we loved. Swap that around. I once split a pizza between three of my best friends. Two of them were vegetarian, so half the pizza was meatless. I left that hangout full, not because I had eaten all the pizza i COULD, but because I ate with friends. We chatted, ate, giggled and enjoyed pizza. Sharing is easy and we don’t need what we think we want.
1b. I love Music
I grew up with a really cool big brother. From all reports he wasn’t necessarily in the “cool” group at school, but I always looked up to him, because in my world, he wore cool clothes, and said cool words, and had cool hair and listened to really cool music. My brother could have kept his music to himself, but he shared it and sung it. He let me listen to music that would influence how i write music, how i formed bands, and still, what I listen to is largely because of the bands my brother showed me when i was 11. Sharing meant that I listen to good music.
Physically sharing improves other people’s lives. Sharing increases everyones enjoyment, both when together and when taken to private places.
2. Sharing enables others to learn.
People can change. For the last decade of my life i have gotten into passionate dialogue with others that usually ends with someone saying “I hate these types of conversations, it never changes anything, it only creates conflict” and I disagree. I disagree that dialogue never changes anything, because it has changed me constantly. I disagree that it creates conflict outside of conflict being made. I have had some of the most passionate dialogues with close friends and we continue to be close friends because we ARE close friends, irrelevant of disagreements in a conversation.
2a. The Shape of Chats.
This is done many ways, including HOW we communicate (usually starting and finishing those types of talks with affirmation) WHEN we communicate (usually when neither party are sad or tired already) and FOR HOW LONG (people have physical ‘tells’ that can communicate when the conversation has spanned enough for thought.) Learning these of course can sometimes be hard and in the midst of accidental conflict where the word SORRY, needs frequent usage. Followed by the words I FORGIVE YOU.
2b. Changing Worldviews.
I still don’t have it down to a science, but my view of the world and myself and God has been constantly improving as i get into more and more of these dialogues. Some dialogues are even shared without words. I have watched a friend work alongside me in different capacities for years and watching her, I have learned more of the value of humans. The way she treats people has opened my eyes to an innate selfishness in my time and space and how people are deserving of much more honour than I extend to them.
2c. People change through positive engagement too.
Yes, I have had to reconsider all that I think because of words that clash with my own sensibilities. And I love that. and I will continue to seek that and extend it to others. But it’s also lovely being around people who have found out new things about how they think and through them excitedly talking about it, I get swept up in their joy and get to celebrate too. So I like flocking to those sorts of people, whilst still getting into proper dialogues of a blunter thought nature.