“Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours” – C. S. Lewis
Since we were little, our parents and teachers have told us “sharing is caring”. It’s so simple, yet, sometimes we let our fears of rejection, judgment, vulnerability, and acceptance hold us back from sharing. Personally, sharing is much more than just showing someone they are important. Sharing is life’s purpose.
“Nothing in life matters if it can’t be shared or given away.”
Today’s culture is very much focused on self-satisfaction. Doing what is best for yourself. If there are areas in your life that are lacking, focus on yourself first. We strive to become better, stronger, smarter, faster and driven by society to thrive on idealistic standards. It consists of wanting and having. You want a dream job, a high salary, a nice car, vacations, holidays, stuff and more stuff. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting these things but what does this all mean when you have them?
- What is a dream job if it takes your time away from spending time with friends and family?
- What is a high salary if the only thing you spend it on is accumulating things? A bigger TV, fancy dinners and luxurious vacations?
- What is a nice car when your concern is how others perceive you in it?
- What is a vacation when you spend 2 weeks laying on a beach somewhere drinking margaritas all day?
What I am trying to say is, why want what we want if we can’t share what we have? Your high salary paying dream job that allows you the luxury of travel and extravagant materials are only temporary self-satisfying fulfillments of joy. They don’t mean anything because at the end of the day, in terms of secular worldviews, we all end up in the same place. Dead. The problem isn’t about what we want; it’s why we want them. We’re so focused on having that we miss the true joys in life. For example, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many people who have a strong desire to travel. They want to travel to as many places possible, see the world, live a nomadic lifestyle moving from countries to countries. I have no objection to travel, in fact, I would strongly encourage it but what does it mean? You get to see visit all these places to satisfy travel hungers, take on new challenges, experience different cultures and then die. It’s a bit selfish isn’t it? Something like travelling offers so much enrichment to our lives it would be greedy not to share it, talk about it, write about it, or maybe even teach it.
Shifting our mindset
When you ask yourself why you want the things you want, what are your answers? Is it for your satisfaction or is there a greater purpose?
I want to travel the world. Why?
So that I can share stories with my children and show them how nothing is truly weird, they just don’t confirm to normality. Normality being that the majority of societal views has agreed on for cultural acceptance. That Mexicans eat 12 grapes on New Years at the stroke of midnight. And in an Indonesian tribal custom, the young adolescents have their teeth shaven down to make them all even in belief that it will rid evil spirits.
I want to make more money. Why?
So you can buy a nicer car? A nice suit? A new watch? I say “yes!” buy these things, you’ve worked hard for them but that should not be the reason for why you would like to earn more money. How about take your family on a vacation? Or perhaps a higher salary to donate to charities or fund a research or project you believe in?
Even something as simple as, I want to learn how to cook. Why?
So you can be well fed or do you want to learn how to cook for your husband/wife/children? Or perhaps you want to be able to host feasts, parties and gatherings for your closest friends?
Erwin McManus, an American author, lecturer and pastor once said, “people are not generous because they are never truly grateful”. We say we’re grateful yet many of us live selfishly by supporting the things we want for ourselves. But life isn’t about you. If you lived in isolation, by all means, live for you. The downside to living for yourself is that you are not worth a whole lot. Your value exists because of the people in your life. Much like a piece of gold cannot establish it’s own worth without the people who see value in it. In essence, the world and the people around you give you more than you can comprehend yet you say, “I’m keeping this for myself”.
Sharing is caring and nothing in your life really matters until you care to share.