Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do You Play Well With Others?

by Susan Reichert, Editor-in-Chief

Remember when you were little playing with your friends?  Were you the kid who shared their toys willingly or were you the kid that didn’t want anyone to play with your toys? I will admit there were times when friends came over to play that I was willing for them to play with my toys, at first, but later during their visit, I would want the toy back and didn’t want them to play with it anymore.
The other day while watching two children sitting on the floor playing with each other, I noticed the little host was handing his toys to his friend, and both were chattering away to each other and glowing with smiles and laughter while playing with the toys and with each other. However, the child who was playing host tired of playing with the toy he had and decided he wanted his other toy, the one his friend was playing with. So of course, he reached over, grabbed it out of the kids’ hand, and told his friend it was his toy and he wanted it. The little kid went bonkers. He began crying in such a way that startled the customers; even the server dropped a cup onto the floor shattering it. Thank goodness, it was empty. Then the kid started screaming “Mine, mine, he took mine. Get it. I want it back, Mommy.”
I watched the mothers of the two kids. They both turned around, at the same time…smiled at their kids, and both said in unison, “play nice boys” and turned back to continue their conversation, which of course was so much more important and continued drinking their ‘vanilla latte and caramel ice coffee’. Naturally, the children minded the mothers–wrong. They continued to fight over it until it escalated and one of the children hit the other. You know the scene you’ve seen it too.
While watching this vignette with the four characters play out I couldn’t help but wonder why it is we humans have such a hard time sharing and helping each other sometimes. It’s as if we revert to the days of childhood, we don’t want the other person to get what we have.
If what we have is great, how can we not pass it on to others? How can we not shout from the rooftops, “Here it is, come get it?” If I know how to do something and it will help someone, I should be glad to show him or her how to do it.
When I share with someone my knowledge and my experience, I do help them, but I also help myself. I get better. The old adage practice makes perfect is very true. I become more experienced and if I keep on, eventually not only will I be a master at it, but people everywhere will know that I, me, am the master and I create a following that will carry me to new heights. Fortunately, because I learned to share my toys I won’t be alone on those heights.

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