My daughter came home from school and announced that her teacher calls me a “Master Sewer”. Wow! I was definitely surprised at this title as I don’t even own a sewing machine. Although I could fiddle my way around a sewing machine, I have no idea how to thread a bobbin or when to change stitches. I am, however, efficient at sewing on a button, fixing a ripped teddy bear and stitching a new dress for an American Girl doll – all with a needle and thread. As a kid, my Mom taught me the most important sewing basics…how to thread a needle and then rub the ends of the thread between two gently licked fingers to create a knot. “Do not TIE a knot,” Mom would emphasize. Mom’s sharing with me of this basic sewing knowledge has served me well over the years and came in handy this year when I spent time in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom helping the kid’s with a sewing project. My Mom’s sharing of her time and talents years ago allowed me to share my talents with the kindergarten kids and thus gain the respected title of “Master Sewer.” Perhaps someday, one of the kindergartners will hem a parent’s pants or fix a sibling’s stuffed doll. Mom and I freely share of our time and sewing knowledge and eventually the kindergartners may do the same. What a beautiful web of sharing!
Sharing is the act of experiencing, giving or enjoying with others. Humans are designed to interact and share with each other to create a community. The hunters-gatherers killed wild game to bring back for all in the community to use. The Indians shared their knowledge of the land with the new colonists from England. Sharing with one another creates a web, linking us to the world around us. Just like a spider web, this web of sharing will continue to grow and ultimately help strengthen our community. Stronger communities have a greater ability to ebb and flow with the constant changes in society and throughout the world. We all have something to share to strengthen our own communities. We all encounter opportunities to share with each other everyday, but do we freely embrace these opportunities?
As parents, we strive to teach our children to share…crayons, balls and other toys. Ultimately, children learn to share freely without any desire for self gain. They share simply because it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, as children grow up and the years pass, for many the concept of sharing seems to get muddled. Sharing with others too often becomes linked with self gains. Our web of sharing is constructed with misplaced motivation instead of a pure heart. No longer are we the “Humble” creature that Charlotte wrote about in her web.
Thankfully we all have different talents, hobbies and activities that we enjoy. Everyone has something they can share. Do you have a green thumb and can help plant a community garden? Do you enjoy cooking and can share a meal with a busy neighbor? Do you have the tools and knowledge to help a friend fix their car? Can you spare a few seconds to help a busy stressed mom carry her groceries to the car? Do you have a few minutes to offer to read a book to a child when you are at the library? How about taking a walk with an elderly neighbor you have not seen in a while? Can you lend a helping hand and bring in your neighbor’s trash cans from the street next week? Are you a good listener and can share a compassionate ear?
The act of true, humble sharing of your time and talents comes from your heart. When we share, we develop a greater sense of place and purpose in the world, build stronger relationships and therefore stronger communities. A simple act can go a long way.
Thanks Mom for sharing your time and sewing knowledge with me. I will never go out with a missing button. Contact me if you need help sewing on a button. I am here to share.