This I Believe

Ashley - Abilene, Texas
Entered on February 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Ever since I was a small child, I have enjoyed games and fellowship with my peers. My parents taught me to get along with others by both telling and showing me how to share. They always insisted that my brother and I share our toys, especially when we were confined to a small space. Our family often went vacationing in Colorado during the Christmas holidays, and we always had a ton of fun once we arrived at our destination, but the long, monotonous drive inspired moody dispositions all around. Even our portable television could not prevent my brother and me from becoming irritated with each other and acting like typical children that are forced to sit still for too long: “He’s touching me/she’s on MY side!!!” As our tempers escalated and our voices increased in volume, my parents became increasingly insistent. They would give us an ultimatum: “stop fighting or else we will turn the television off for the next hour.” An hour of television deprivation was no meager threat, and it usually did the trick. Sometimes, however, they would threaten to pull the minivan over and spank us. With that threat hanging over our heads, my brother and I would usually put an end to our nitpicking. On occasion, we would get a good spanking, though. We could be such ornery kids!

My brother and I are two years apart in age, but similar in maturity. We have always enjoyed each others company and get along very well, despite our difference in age and a natural sibling rivalry. He was always there for me to play with when we were young, which made him my favorite playmate. We were not always compliant, however, when it came to sharing our toys. He did not want me demolishing his LEGO landscapes, and I would never let him touch my dolls. We both had good reason to withhold these specific toys from each other. I did not possess a love for architecture and often brought whole buildings crashing down because of it, and he had difficulties understanding the limits of a Barbie doll’s flexibility, thus creating a legless doll that was rather pathetic. I learned to share in moderation. The cardinal rule for sharing is that you never share your best/newest toys with someone you do not know or trust. Another rule I learned from my parents was that sharing is not always the best idea. Letting little Mary Lou drink from your chocolate milk at lunch is not a good idea. Sharing germs does not promote lasting friendships.

Since the beginning of time, it has been clear that man is not meant to be alone, but to live in harmony with others. In the Garden of Eden, God saw that Adam was lonely and created woman to give him company. God shares his love with us, and loves us enough that He sent His son to die for us. God encourages us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, and He wants us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Love inspires sharing, and sharing leads to fellowship and community. I believe in sharing.