Quick Report

Happy Snail by davey-boy on Flickr
Happy Snail by davey-boy on Flickr

Although I’ve been slacking with the blogging, I wanted to let you know that I’m still inching along with the 5WC about teaching.

I had an “interview” with one of my volunteers who’s an experienced adult ESL teacher.  It ended up going much differently than I’d expected.  We both teach Advanced at my center, so we ended up talking a lot about that class specifically.  It was fantastically helpful, I think for both of us, and I think it will result in some positive changes that will benefit our students.

I was surprised that I was able to give back during our chat.  She asked more about the 5WC with the idea of bringing it to a group she’s involved in.  I was also able to give her helpful tidbits about Macs and social media.

So I’m really glad the 5WC spurred me to actually take the time to talk to people instead of just saying, “yep, that’d be a good idea someday.”  The 5WC made “someday” become a “today.”

I have to admit, I’m not doing so hot with my reading.  I also have no idea where I’m at in the five weeks.

But for now I’m still going (at a snail’s pace, but still going!) and finding that every effort I’ve put in has been rewarded far more than I’d expected.

On Giving and Sharing

In my previous post I talked a little about giving vs. sharing in the context of poverty and what to do about it. I’ve been thinking about it more since I wrote it, and I think there’s something to the idea.

It’s very grand and dramatic to be constantly giving all you’ve got. In many ways it’s what we’re “supposed” to do. I also hear frequent praise of people who never take but always give. The dirty little secret is that if all you do is give, you will run out of resources to give, be they material or emotional.

Sharing, photo by FuriousGeorge81 on Flickr
Sharing, photo by FuriousGeorge81 on Flickr

Giving is uni-directional. It comes with power politics, careful tallies,  assumed rights, and often times a very high horse. Giving has to be paired with taking.  So maybe the key is to not be focused on giving so much as on sharing.

Sharing flows in all directions. It doesn’t worry about tallying up everyone’s contributions. When it’s done openly and sensitively, it can just keep on going. At risk of using ambiguous jargon, it’s sustainable.

Thinking about life in general through the “sharing” lens feels really refreshing to me right now, so I’m planning to sit with the idea for a while.  Some of the questions I’m asking myself that maybe you’d like to ask yourself too:

  • How would your relationships be different if you shared your time (or your ear, heart, wisdom, patience, etc.) instead of giving it?
  • Would it change your relationship with your job, or your interactions with strangers?
  • Would you be more inclined to share your money with organizations instead of giving it?
  • How would it feel to receive if you were sharing and not giving?