Thursday, June 10, 2010


 Sharing is a very Yummish concept. Giving is a very Yummish concept. These are time tested ways of increasing the general Yum of a situation. People have been sharing and giving for centuries. Scenes of giving and sharing have been found in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and scrolls. (At least I assume so. There is a lot of ancient Egyptian stuff online. I started to look it up, but then didn't.) Our First Nation brethren shared life-giving nourishment and farming techniques to the European-American immigrants, who in turn shared the blessings of gun powder and grain alcohol. (Um...) The young fellow in my neighborhood with the killer sound system in his car is ready to share his kickin' tunes, no matter how early or late it may be. (In truth, there are about 17 of those guys in my neighborhood.)

Our society claims to value Sharing and Giving. We teach our children these values. How many times have you said “Give that back to your brother,” “Share that with your sister,” “Let little Fenster have a turn.” The question is, do we truly feel that way, or is this just lip service meant to prevent yet another outbreak of youthful shrieking? (NOTE: This is NOT an ignoble motivation. If you have experienced that particular sound in a small, enclosed space, such as a car or, say, coming from the seat behind mine on the shuttle flight between Oakland and Anaheim, it is very reasonable that you would not want to hear it again.) Of course, we often end up buying every knick knack and gee-gaw (I'm getting old and get to use fogey words now. Yowza! 23 Skidoo!) we can afford (or not) for the next 18 – 25+ years for people who can't be bothered to remember their own parents' dates of birth. (Maybe a Blackberry would help with that...)

That parents try to instill the value of generosity in their kids, whether or not the value is incorporated into their own lives until they in turn become parents, is not in doubt. The question is whether or not we practice the Twin Yums of Sharing and Giving in our adult lives.

I struggle with this one in my daily life. There are so many reasons to keep things close to the vest, as it were.

“If I lend my car to my friend and he runs into someone, my insurance won't cover the damage.”

“If I let my roommate borrow my dead grandmother's necklace and it gets lost, my mother will be heartbroken.”

“If I share this ice cream with my husband, I won't get to eat it all myself.”

Still, there are things we can Give and Share that cost us little:

A hug (unless unwise from a sexual harassment point of view)
A joke (as long as it is not dirty or impolitic in any way and is still actually funny)
A smile (except baring ones teeth is generally considered an act of aggression in the rest of the animal kingdom)


This is why increasing the Yum is so important. The more Yummy the environment, the more people will feel free to Give and Share freely. How do we increase the Yum? By living in harmony with Yummish ideals, such as Giving and Sharing.

You know, it really is a hell of a catch, that Catch 22.

Today's Yummish Exercise:
Plan to share a meal with or give a small (or large) party for friends and/or family. It's OK to start small and safe. Yum has a way of spreading. Sort of like melted cheese.

Next: Depends on if there is still some of that Crown Fino Chevere left in the pantry.

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