Have you noticed that for the past few years we have been often adding a prefix before action verbs? New expressions, such as “co-create,” “co-working” or “co-lunching” are now part of our vocabulary. And it is certainly no coincidence that on the social media “liking” is good, “commenting” is better and “sharing” is the very best! Behind people’s social, organizational, visionary, technological and economic personas lie a deep and inherent impetus in human nature: the essential need to share and have something in common in order to feel good.
Learning, growing and discovering
From birth, the notion of sharing is a foundation of our learning. Memorizing our first words, using a fork or a pencil, or brushing our teeth are great feats for our little heroes. We spend busy days together filled with actions, emotions, laughter, games, and sometimes even crying and sobbing. We learn to grow up together and one day we discover mathematics. We share pieces of pie to understand division. During history and geography classes the teacher erases time to help us learn about the first civilizations. Although understanding natural phenomena and cultural differences sometimes seems complex, we are amazed by our planet’s immensity and wealth. We are also in awe of the science teachers who share their knowledge and passion to help us learn about the mysteries and to explore the principles and laws which govern our universe.
When experience reveals its meaning
When sharing knowledge, we are more attentive when an idea, a context, an experience or a person personally touches us. Although we are interested and we are listening, it is through our own experiences that learning really takes shape in our lives. “I told you so” is surely one of the most hated expressions by teenagers and adults alike. To help and support our children, friends, students or co-workers, it is important to share with them the successes and difficulties that have marked and enriched the courses of our lives. At the same time, it is essential to respect their nature and pace. Let us remember that love, trust, benevolence and patience are undoubtedly the fundamental foundations for establishing nurturing and cultivating healthy bonds between humans. Once the experience is shared, time will do its work before the meaning is fully revealed. Beyond the words we exchange, the spirit of sharing continues to spread through the values, actions, behaviours and achievements that shape our own life’s path.
The strength of our relationships
The spirit of sharing is the most important thing in our relationships. It builds healthy and strong relationships with family, friends, lovers, co-workers and those who touch us throughout our lives. It definitely contributes to our health and well-being.
One of the most convincing studies on this subject is undoubtedly a Harvard survey conducted on 700 men over 75 years of age. This research, begun in 1938, merged two groups: one from the prestigious university and the other from a disadvantaged background. The results were revealed in 2015 and show that for all participants, the strength of our relationships with family, friends and loved ones plays a key role in our health and development.
Dr. Robert Waldinger, the study’s fourth director, points out that “people who are closest to their families, friends or communities are happier and healthier.” However, he also notes that it is also possible to consider that healthy people are better able to establish and maintain rich and healthy social relationships.
The spirit of sharing is a bridge that allows us to create a link between our inner world and the outside world. We all want to learn, share, love, exchange and create enjoyable, magical moments. Sometimes, by being overcome by fears, insecurities and responsibilities, we do not take the time to satisfy to this essential need. Being present, caring about and listening to others, offering help, donating or volunteering for a cause are all concrete actions that help us nurture this spirit on a daily basis.
Global Health Consultant, Author and Lecturer