Walter W. Pickut
Remember that day when you were a kid and Mom, or Dad, or old Aunt Sadie, caught you squabbling over some toy with a playmate? They probably slapped your little hand, took what you had, and gave it to somebody else with the statement—not really a question—“Don’t you know how to share?”
Sharing never seemed nice when it meant that. Unfortunately, that kind of goofiness by well-meaning but misguided parents or teachers left a bad impression on a lot of us about sharing. It seemed to mean somebody was taking what is yours and giving it to somebody else.
The business of sharing isn’t supposed to be “I lose – you win” or “I win – you lose.” Real sharing is when I have something and get to keep it by giving it away. Steven Tyler, American singer and songwriter in the Boston-based rock band Aerosmith, put it like this, “If you have a candle, the light won’t grow any dimmer if I light yours off mine.”
Sharing is not taking something from another, it is mutually using it to the pleasure or profit of both. Teaching a child to share is teaching him to play. A baseball game is the best way to share your baseball with the kids who don’t have one. So how does that work with your money? Or your food? Or your time?
This week your Jamestown Gazette invites our readers to Come to the Table—a place and a way to share as it was always meant to be. It’s the 15th Annual Come to the Table auction to benefit abused and neglected children in foster care, working through CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. And we’re giving you a special, long-range notice so you can plan to join in that joy of real sharing.
You and I do have enough to share, right? This fund raiser will make a difference in our community again in 2023, and once more make our community, people you know and care about, have a little less pain, a little more comfort, or better security.
Isn’t that another way to share your money, your time, or your food? Billy Graham once said, “We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing.” When we do what we are made for, nobody has to slap our hands to make us do it. It is simply one of life’s pleasures.
And our writers at the Jamestown Gazette each have something they want to share, too. Whatever you find on these pages is a gift of someone’s rich experience and inquisitive mind, or an advertiser who takes great pride in having something of real value to show you.
Please take it personally, share in a way that works for the giver as much as the receiver. Then we can all answer proudly that old question left over from our childhood—“Yes, I do know how to share!”
And of course, as always, enjoy the read.
*A version of this editorial was originally published in the Jamestown Gazette in April, 2013. A reader in Warren, PA was inspired by it to start his own charity, now fulfilling their mission “To provide nutritious food, warm clothing, and other necessities of life to children, families and other individuals in need in our community.” Learn more at http://www.hooktownholidays.org/.