My sister and I spent part of our childhood sharing a home with my mother’s youngest sister and her three children. When my aunt would give candy or juice to her children, she would not share any with us. It was as if she did not see us or we had somehow became invisible in her eyes.
As a little girl I did not know why that hurt me such much, but I was only nine years old, so I did not yet understand the concepts of selfishness and prejudice. I just felt that her children must have being viewed as better than us. It made me feel as though I was a bad person who did not deserve the candy or juice. It made my cry.
Before Affirmative Action, it was hard for me to get really good jobs at the telephone company, due to my race. Then, one day the federal government advised the company to hire black women in a job traditionally held by white males. The next week, I passed the test for job normally off-limits to black women, and I was hired. Finally, it seemed that we were no longer invisible.
These incidents have shaped what sharing means to me. Sharing with others, whether it is my love, knowledge, troubles, fears, food, money, or even my hopes, is a way for me to say to another human being that I see your value and worth. It acknowledges that I recognize that neither you nor mean can survive in this world alone.
Sharing means lessening other people’s loads.
Sharing means giving ourselves away to trusted others.
Sharing knowledge means helping others to understand the world.
Sharing means acceptance and love.
Written for Tale Weaver #200 from The Haunted Wordsmith.