As children we are taught to share with others; our toys, food, time, love, along with many other characteristics. On the journey to ‘teen land’ our objectives have a tendency to develop into the realm of being self-absorbed, not necessarily selfish, rather unaware and solely concentrating on fellow adolescents, music, fashion, and/or/simultaneously on hormones. Not all teens go through the above mentioned, but some do and I can be honest and say when I was a teen I did just that. I walked around in my own little bubble, oblivious to the troubles of the world or even the financial burdens of my own household and how this type of stress can affect adult relationships.
When you finally reach the fork in the road to stay in the child world or venture into adulthood the 'sharing' characteristic surfaces once again. The choice is that of the individual; will they choose to sincerely share with others their happiness, wealth, education, compassion, love, and friendship or will they resort to the behaviors of gluttony, greed, and narcissism?
A thought ponders on the edge of my brain; are others truly and genuinely happy for their peers/friends or does an ulterior motive of sabotage linger in the dark corners of their psyche? When looking at my author colleagues, does the above rule apply as a competitor’s impairment? Have I read too many conspiracy theory novels and watched far too many movies about treachery for my own good? I hope not, I rather enjoy those types of intrigue and would like to continue to benefit from the various forms of entertainment without the after affects of guilt or paranoia. So, back to the question at hand, how easily does ‘sharing’ come to you?
I’m personally drawn toward people/authors/writers/entertainers that exude individuality, creativity, charisma, kindness, and humor. The world is a vast exodus of untapped resources (literally speaking) and hidden treasures that are waiting to be discovered by the next individual. That could be any form of discovery including exciting new inventions, befriending someone from a different culture and/or religion, perhaps creating a novel. I will be the first to say small doses of competition are healthy (speaking from my experience as an athlete), and I will stand behind my opinion in which I’m sure others will wholeheartedly disagree. Of course, I welcome their argument without judgment and bring forth an open mind. The desire to be on top of the mountain is intrinsic in us all, but when you rise to the peak and take a look at those around you, do you want a friend to encourage you or a foe to pull your feet from under you to watch your descent back down to the bottom?
I choose thoughtfulness and positive support; it’s less painful and a safe bet you will receive it back tenfold. I would rather deliver the benefit of doubt as opposed to thinking my peers are out to get me. I have mingled in settings where fellow authors are leery of others and have a cynical outlook regarding their literary companions. I have sympathy for those conflicted only for the mere fact that embracing those ill feelings will cause you nothing but grief. I'm happy to report I have experienced nothing but genuine thoughtfulness from other authors and writers who are not the enemy but heartfelt comrades willing to help fledgling novelists new to the publishing world or give words of encouragement to keep on going.
When I look back at my early teenage years I cringe at how horrible my attitude was and I’m grateful I decided to try my luck down the path of benevolence. I have been growing ever since and hope to continue to search out new ways to give back to those around me who have assisted me along the way or new friends in need of a helping hand. Should I have written this in stone for all to see, absolutely! No one is perfect, no one is safe from ridicule but why not be the first to put it out there in an effort to expose your blemishes for others to compare with against their own and accept them for what they were. That's right, past tense, WERE. Change is definitely possible and most of the time can be accomplished without sacrificing a great deal. Share both your faults and your strengths; in the end you will gain a healthy respect not only for yourself, but from those around you as well.