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  • Writer's picturePoetic PIXELS

A Shared Paradox

Sharing is caring. This phrase is a well know one. Particularly amongst young children and is a value that is taught and encouraged early on in life.

So much that we even admonish our youth for violating this vital principle. The practice of sharing is a worthwhile virtuous one but discouraged in adulthood. So what changes? It suddenly becomes more important to "acquire" than it is to dispense. Greed and acquisitiveness are now highly praised qualities where they were once condemned. Generosity is traded for gluttony. Kindness for callous. Consideration for contempt.

Imagine you are at the park with your daughter who is 4 years old. She is with other kids who are not playing well with her. Do you go over and encourage them to play nice? If you are like 95% of most parents, that's exactly what you do. But why? We somehow feel as if we have more control and influence over the decisions our children make during their formable years but this input and practice is somehow now equivocal as we grow into adults. Why is this?

I struggle to understand why it is important to instill virtue in children when those traits are deemed unessential in adulthood. After all, aren't we preparing them for life as adults? I want to understand what creates this immense separation between us as human beings and why we ignore what we know to be right? Should I teach my daughters that there are no long term effects that would benefit them from sharing? That this is only a beneficial childhood attribute?

I do believe I understand the mechanics behind this base nature. Money! Money makes us greedy and since children at very young ages have little direct need for it (especially in an ownership sense) they cannot be corrupted by its ill effects. I gave my Daughter a 20 dollar bill to put in her piggy bank. A few weeks later, when counting the coins inside she screamed abruptly; "Daddy, what happened to my dollar?" Just a funny story to illustrate the relationship and identification children have with money. They seem to understand it's function but not it's so-called value.. They mimic the importance they see us place on it.

Our misunderstood connection to sharing is not an isolated enigma. I touched on Money as it seems to be a rather obvious motive that fuels selfishness, but there are many other paradoxes we contend with.

Am I teaching my Daughter the importance of money so that she can exploit others and become corrupted by it? Am I teaching her the benefit of love so that her heart can be broken? Am I teaching her the value of time, so that hers will be wasted? The significance of self-love so that world can debase her? Giving her direction so that she may become misguided? Inspiring empathy so that she can live in a detached society? Instill virtue and generosity just to be tempted by greed? Will she trade contentment for envy? Will she confuse ambition with arrogance? Will she sacrifice her uniqueness for conformity?

It seems that as we choose to grow up under the blanket of society, we loose the intrepid boldness, valuable to mutual human connection.

What light must we extinguish to conform to societies darkness?

~Solidarity

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