Yesterday I was at the park with my three-year old, Teela. We went to a new park and there were many kids around her age playing about. We took out her sand toys, attracting other kids, and soon she was into her not sharing mode. This immediately took me to this quote I read once.

“Here’s a test. an elderly lady behind you says to her husband, “Maple’s my favorite!” Do you like the donut enough to leave it for her?” (The Essential Yoga Sutra by Geshe Micheal Roach and Christie McNally – Sutra 2.7 – 2.9)

This has always stumped me. Do I like something enough to give it away? What a thought. The authors are trying to explain the concept of grasping and its relation to liking and disliking things. He argues that liking that donut is a ‘stupid’ kind of liking. We need to find the mistake in that kind of liking and learn to tell the difference between ‘stupid’ liking and ‘smart’ liking. Liking peace and helping others would be smart liking in a very general sense. It is harder to apply in every day life and even more so in the heat of the moment like at the park when you are three years old and sharing toys against your will because your mom says so.

Does my little girl like the sand toys enough to leave them for these kids at the park? No, her brain development is not there. The ego is strong in our young ones as they find their sense of being. In reading Eckhart Tolle’s book The New Earth he shares a story of a women who is terminally ill that he spends time with as a counsellor. She looses a ring that is very special to her. He asks her some very good questions.

“Do you realize that you will have to let go of the ring at some point, perhaps quite soon? How much more time do you need before you will be ready to let go of it? Will you become less when you let go of it? Has who you are become diminished by the loss?”

I especially like the last one. I am going to think of that question many times while I go through the process of decluttering my house and life. I think of that question a lot when I hold onto family heirlooms I have of my anscestors. I am so passionate about family history and holding onto things of my grandmothers or great grandmothers that I do feel my identity is wrapped up in it. At some point I will have to let it go.

Since Teela was in such a fowl mood (she has a head cold) we packed up our toys with the intention of leaving before things got worse for Teela.  As we walked away I wondered if I had something special and someone showed an interest in it could I like it enough to give it to them?


3 thoughts on “Sharing

  1. This brings up a very good point. I have found myself giving up something I like to make others happy. However, I’m not sure if it was out of guilt or to make myself feel good. I have to admit there have been times that I have regretted it. Hmmm…something to think about.

  2. Regarding the ‘New Earth’ story, a book I have also read. I get the point but it’s harsh I think and it would have made the poor woman feel even worse, not better, I think!. The poor woman is at the end of her life and she’s lost something of sentimental value. She’s totally entitled to feel sad about that. I would hold all sorts of things like that close to me. It’s better than worrying about how the stocks and shares are doing or something materialistic, unless they were all that was left to pay for your kid’s education or something. As long as holding on to things isn’t having a negative effect on your life, then why not? Sometimes the time or person feels right and then it feels good to give things away. And you know you won’t have regrets. I think if you’re going to share/give up something you need to do it with a pure heart (if you don’t, as Melinda said, you feel bad).

    That’s why it’s not fair to ask kids to share but perhaps better to try taking turns/trading toys – you give me one, I’ll give you one. It’s a good mid-step to learning sharing. What’s the point of sharing with the wrong attitude? Saying ‘sorry’ is the same. Sometimes you can teach kids to say ‘I’m sorry that you’re upset or that the situation happened’ if they can’t say ‘sorry’ as is, with an open heart and then gradually show/model real ‘sorry’ saying! Even adults need to do this sometimes. Just a thought!

  3. Hello Ladies. I think you both are talking about the idea of intention when you give. I agree that we need the right intention when we do anything, even bake cookies. Especially when we bake cookies;) Intention is in everything we do and a key factor in what the outcome will be. Giving because we are trying to be generous but not really feeling it, will only come back and bite us.

    I do think it is hard to let go of those things we are attached to yet over and over again it seems to be proved that we are happier letting go of them. Eventually we all have to let go of them one day and when we do our identity will still be there. Or that is my belief. I believe we are all connected in some higher, unconscious way. That there is more to us than this physical self with all our stuff. Letting go is just not so easy. We need to be ready for it. Even Eckhart Tolle says “How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by it-self when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. Then later he says being aware of your attachment is the beginning of being able of letting go. The awareness weakens the attachment. I feel this is the case for me but it still hasn’t made me want to put my crystal and china up on kijiji or ebay.

    This is a bit off topic but I remember reading something from Deepak Chopra speaking of the same part of us that Eckhart Tolle speaks of. Chopra asks if we are aware of the part of us that reads and the part of us that is analyzing while we read. There are two things going on. One that is deeper than the other. I think this part of us that is thinking is the same part that could be aware that there is an attachment? Maybe I need to think about that more. Just a quick thought.

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