Home > Archives > Family First >
Learning to Share
Photo:Nicholas Sutcliffe
The Reuters news service reported recently that Branko Zivkov, a 76-year old farmer in Belgrade, purchased a grinder and cut all of his tools in half after a court ruling ordered him to split all his property with his ex-wife. He claimed that although he "had been ready to give his wife Vukadinka her equal share of everything earned during their 45-year marriage," he became so angry at the injunction to give away half of his farm equipment that he cut all of it—including "cattle scales, a harrow and a sowing machine"—right down the middle. He told a local paper, "I still haven't decided how to split the cow. She should just say what she wants—the part with the horns or the part with the tail."1

Talk about a messy split!

Mr. Zivkov's behavior would seem to be a striking example of cutting off his nose to spite his face; he may have fulfilled the court's directive to split his property with his wife, but the halves of the bisected equipment will clearly be useless to either of them. As silly as his actions appear, however, I'm sure most of us have felt at least tempted to engage in similarly irrational or childish behavior—especially when provoked by a partner or family member!

Sharing Ourselves

It can be surprisingly difficult to cheerfully share—not just objects we own, but especially our time, compassion, and patience. We teach children to share their toys, but can be quite selfish when it comes to sharing of ourselves, particularly when we’re already feeling overwhelmed by work or other obligations. Truly sharing of ourselves, though—not a spiteful down-the-middle split of our possessions, but a genuine and open willingness to listen to, sit with, or simply encourage another person—is one of the best gifts we can give anyone else. Perhaps not surprisingly, when you do give in this way, you often find you’re not left with half of what you started with, but in fact much more.

Learning to share well takes practice and dedication. The investment, however, is worth it—especially if it means never having to choose between “horns” and “tail”!

Respond to this article

By C. Myers. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1Reuters News, April 4, 2008

SiteMap. Powered by SimpleUpdates.com © 2002-2018. User Login / Customize.