This I Believe

Brynne - Irving, Texas
Entered on July 18, 2006

“This I Believe” Column

I believe that sharing is the path to justice and peace.

I was born with a sense of right and wrong and I believe sharing is one of the right things to do. Sharing is what mothers teach their children and it’s my steadfast answer to war.

I am surrounded with resources; I am met with boxes of cereal, the scent of soaps, and piles of vegetables every time I go in a grocery store. When I sit to eat, I sometimes remember the sand in the mouths of my African sisters as they sit in camps in Darfur hungry, thirsty and hoping that other humans will share and help. I want so much to share food with them.

Sharing inspires me. I read in Guideposts about the Great Hay Lift. Northern farmers shipped hay to southern farmers who were suffering drought and were being forced to sell their cattle. No railroad owners, farmers or truckers took money for their labor or hay. A simple lady—a grocery store cashier—had the idea and started calling people and it happened. It seems that I am not the only one inspired by sharing.

I have long imagined United Nations distribution policies crafted with teeth—sharp teeth—so that trains loaded with grain and oil can carry their loads into the interior of Africa with no interference. I can see these trains guarded with U.N. troops with orders of “shoot to kill,” arriving successfully at the relief stations.

With these definitive policies, any warlord attempting to hijack the food trains would be shot on the spot, and this would be the demonstration of a political will and a serious international intention to share food and to stop starvation in its tracks. With this, I know the world would at last be sharing the abundant grain of many countries with those whose very lives depend on immediate help. I live for the headlines proclaiming that everyone on the planet has all they wanted to eat today.

Sharing is what my mother taught me when I was young. When I was a kid and my friends were over to play, my mom gave me cookies. At the time, there are many things she didn’t say. She didn’t say, “Here, honey, eat two of these in front of your friends and stuff the rest in your pockets.” She didn’t say, “Here, honey, eat one, sell one, and hide one.” She didn’t say, “Here honey, eat two, sell one, and throw the rest away.” Mom did say, “Here honey, share these with your friends…”

My eyes got big at the appealing cookies and I ran give one to all my friends. Through sharing the cookies, I learned that sharing made me feel happy. Relationships were kept in tact and years later, sharing felt like, and still feels like, the right thing to do.