Thursday, March 05, 2015

The miracle of sharing

I'm a Star Trek fan, there is no doubt. When I was a kid, I watched Star Trek reruns and was fascinated by Spock, the eminently logical character played by Leonard Nimoy. I have never really delved into his personal life nor have I cared to. Spock is who I think of when I see Nimoy's name. In later years, I enjoyed his reprise of the Spock character in various Star Trek movies and even again in television.

Shortly after his death, pictures of him and a quote attributed to him began to appear in social media. The quote?

"The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have."

Since I saw that quote, I've been thinking about it, and what is implicated by that statement. I remembered that sharing is everywhere. There are no exceptions. It seems to be a law of nature that everything is shared in one way or another. Nimoy seemed to have been intimately aware of a universal truth.

Consider the humble atoms that we are composed of. Atoms in chemical bonds share electrons. In water, hydrogen and oxygen share electrons to form the bonds that create the liquid that our lives depend on. Free electrons exist everywhere and you know it when you get out of the car on a cold, dry winter day only to be shocked by the frame of your door. You've just shared electrons with the car.

We share the sky, the light, the air, the land, the water, and the food. Having lived alone for much of my adult life, I find food far more satisfying when I am sharing it with my family than when I'm alone. I go shopping with my wife, she loads the cart and I pay for it. At home, she prepares the meals and we all eat together. I know, so quaint in today's modern world. But when we eat at the table together, we talk, laugh and share stories. We enjoy each other's company around food that we share.

Every mammal shares. Parents share with their progeny. Hunters share their kill. Foragers share the meadows, the savanna, the trees and even the ants. For animals, there is little incentive or capacity to accumulate and store food. Food is temporary and transient. Food is now, not later. Unless you're human, then you might have a refrigerator.

Nimoy recognized that in taking part in media, he is sharing, even if he is paid very well to do it. I don't think he spent time as an actor or a photographer for the money. He was looking for something he enjoyed doing and was lucky enough to be paid generously for sharing. After sharing, he found that he had more than he had before. More of what? He didn't say, but it must have been enough or he would have found something else to do.

I personally can't think of anything that I have enjoyed in life that isn't better when shared. Can you?
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