As we are in the month of Thanksgiving, what better time to talk about sharing and caring? I am sure that at some point we have all heard the phrase, “sharing is caring!” but what does that even mean?
If you share something you care. If you share food, you care for the hungry, if you share money you care for the cause or the impoverished. I have often thought can you have one without the other? If you share, you care, and if you care, you’ll share. A little like the question that has baffled scholars for centuries, “what came first, the chicken or the egg?”
Why does it even matter? It matters because it teaches us to be selfless, it teaches us to consider others need our help, it encourages us to be there for others. I would go as far as to say, many times the caring and sharing we do is for people we don’t know or will never meet. The act of caring is indeed a powerful one, it helps us to create deeper connections with people and with ourselves. We learn from sharing and caring.
It matters because it has a ripple effect. If you volunteer in your community, others my see and be inspired to follow suit. The ripple gets wider, and wider until the next thing you know, what started small becomes a worldwide movement. The phrase “pay it forward”, just imagine, that could have started with one’s persons generosity and the next thing you know, it is something said and heard around the world that now, needs no explanation.
There are various ways that sharing and caring develops us, develops our character, develops our social skills. Sharing spreads joy, we have all had that warm fuzzy feeling after doing something for someone else and feeling and knowing we’ve made a difference.
Not just for the the warm and fuzzy’s, there are so many other benefits, a natural stress reliever, it relieves loneliness, anxiety, depression. Sharing and caring is great therapy! Steve Jobs said, “Life is about creating and living experiences that are worth sharing”.
Sadly, in today’s modern society sharing is caring has lost some of its meaning in that it is done for “likes” a little too self-serving and that isn’t what it’s truly about. I wonder who that type of sharing and caring is for, the recipient or “for the gram?”
Sharing is not just limited to tangible things, we share our knowledge, we share our experiences. We see that in coaches and mentors. We share life’s most valuable commodities, our time. Time once spent can never be gotten back. Something I have said numerous times after sitting through a movie or event that was bordering on painful to endure, and at the end said, “well, there’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back”. I can pretty much guarantee you, there are more such movies and events in my future where those words will be said again and again. Once this pandemic passes, I’ll welcome those times, I will probably have a three movie limit though, before I start saying that again.
And we share our heart, we love, we give love, and we are blessed to receive love. Love for family, friends, pets, colleagues.
We also need to care for ourselves, we can’t give so much to everyone else then neglect ourselves. Take to time to know yourself, know who you are, what you like, pamper yourself a little. I recall after the end of a long-term relationship, I realized I don’t like wagon wheels, like I really do not like them, I go as far as calling them an abomination. A wagon wheel is two biscuits (AKA cookies) with a marshmallow filling, covered in chocolate, a chocolate covered marshmallow sandwich. All those ingredients separately I’m good with, but together like that, nah, I’m good thanks. But he used to devour these abominations and because I was young and impressionable, being the dutiful, doting girlfriend, I would eat them. Uck! Any way I digress.
Very often we get so busy with life, work, spouse, children, home, being caregivers, among so many other things, we put ourselves at the very bottom of the to do list. Serving everyone and everything first, then eventually giving ourselves the meagre leftovers.
Self-care is vital for your mental and physical wellbeing, there is no point taking care of everyone and everything else then you are burnt out. If you don’t take care of you, how will you then take care of anyone else effectively? During the safety announcement of flights, you are told to put your oxygen mask on first then assist others. Take care of you, then you can share and care without feeling resentment because you are tired, burnt out, in fact exhausted.
Taking care of yourself is actually healthy, but too often we feel guilty for doing so.
I will leave you with a quote from the author Ethel Mae,
“It is not selfish to love yourself.
It is not selfish to take care of yourself.
It is not selfish to ensure you are happy.
In fact it is a much overlooked necessity”.
How can you share and care today? And if you are feeling generous and have the sharing feeling my bank account details are……