Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sharing is Sometimes More Demanding than Giving

This morning I awoke excited – sometime before noon a good friend and I are getting on my Harley Road King and heading out for a ride in the nice yet slightly cool Florida sun. Given that she and I may ride over the Skyway Bridge and hit a few biker bars in the Sarasota area, I was remembering a time when I stopped at one of those establishments and discovered an intriguing pearl of wisdom regarding sharing versus giving. I want to share it with you (no pun intended).

In my recently released pop psych book, Mom and Dad’s Pearls of Wisdom… You Gotta Love ’Em, there is a vignette, labeled “Sharing,” that tells the story:

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Sharing

One time at a beachside biker bar, with a cold one in hand, I walked outside and around to the picnic tables out back. I climbed onto the bench across from a married couple in their early fifties. They were wearing matching black T-shirts with motorcycle logos on the front. Immediately, they drew me into their conversation with their joviality.

Earl, who owned a large lawn service company, was a burly guy with huge hands and a ruddy complexion. Louise, petite and a bit drawn in the face, was an elementary school teacher. When Earl finished his beer, he motioned to Louise that it was time to go. After shaking my hand and saying, “Nice chattin’ with ya’,” he got up, went over to his dresser (a large touring bike), threw his leg over the backrest, and plopped down on the wide seat. My eyes were out on stems when I saw the back of his shirt. In conspicuous lettering it said, “If you can read this, the bitch fell off.” Earl cranked up the engine, revealing the power of his bike and heralding his readiness to leave.

Hearing the guttural sound of Earl’s bike, Louise bid me farewell and pulled herself up from the table. Wouldn’t you know it—her T-shirt had its own contribution to make. As Louise swung a spindly leg over her low-rider, I read, “If you can read this, the bitch just passed you.” Louise pulled out onto the street ahead of Earl and, in between first and second gear, flashed a peace sign in my direction. I ate it up.

A guy behind me saw the whole thing and commented, “You gotta love it.”

I agreed, adding, “You know, he seemed very comfortable with his wife having her own bike.”

“I guess… I used to have a Deuce. It was a sweet bike, too! I wanted to give my wife her own bike for Christmas. But instead she said, ‘Just trade yours in for a touring bike and we can ride together.’” As if on cue, his wife came out of the bar and announced that she was ready to go.

“Nice meeting you,” I offered as the man immediately began following his wife to their big touring bike. Nonetheless, halfway to his bike he stopped, turned, walked back to me, and lowered his voice and said, “One of the things my mother used to tell me and my brother was,

Sharing is sometimes more demanding than giving.

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Question: have you ever found sharing to be more demanding than giving?

Bill

6 comments:

Kelly Parra said...

LOL, gotta love those T-shirts! =D

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Kelly,
I am appreciative of your visit and glad you enjoyed the story. And yes, regarding the t-shirts -- ala the Master Card commercial... "Priceless!"
Bill

DH said...

Most definitely giving is way easier than sharing. I think that when we give, it releases us from any level or sense of control we might want to maintain. Any effort to control anything requires tremendous energy (not to mention, it never works). Giving away that sense of control (or ownership) is very freeing. So when people say "it's better to give than receive"...they are soooo right!
DH

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello DH,
Excellent points, ones with which I certainly would not argue. I might add, nonetheless, that sometimes "sharing" can be more meaningful. For example, in my self-help book, "Adult Loving Relationships," the marquee line is: "A sunset shared is more than a sunset."
Maybe it comes down to what we want -- to give something away and not have the hassles and responsibilities, or share it and enjoy the potential outcomes of sharing? (And of course it depends on "What it is?" and "Who it is?")
Relationships certainly can be wonderful... and equally challenging.
Thanks,
Bill

insideout said...

Giving for the most part is easy for me (gifts/my time). Sharing on the other hand is difficult. Coming from a large family I tend to hold dear the things that I prize. We were made to share all of our toys bikes cars when we were teens. In our home I hold on to my office space and have never allowed anyone but me to ever drive my harley or my Car...I/O

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi I/O,
Thanks for sharing your personal experience with giving/sharing… and it certainly makes sense for you to be the way you are with your things. (Coming from a similar background, mine being a very low socioeconomic background I have a touch of that myself.) With such insights, however, we also have to remember that while our background explains the way we are, it doesn’t mean we have to continue to be that way… we have choices. I personally am more of a “sharer” now-a-days and feeling good about it.
Thanks again,
Bill