Sharing

I greatly enjoyed a phone conversation last week wherein a friend from another life asked me about giftedness in five year olds. This brought back a basketful of pleasant memories from my work with young gifted children.

Today, I’m thinking about how freely the littles help one another with finding toys, building block structures and putting answers on tests. When I tested kindergarten children, we worked in small groups of no more than four or five children at a time. I was so careful to spread their tiny desks about the room where they could not see each other’s answers. Yet, they felt free to hop up and scurry to someone else’s spot for help with questions. They did this even though they clearly knew the answers. Some just moved to go and help a friend. Eventually, when I got that stopped and they realized their feet were glued to the spot they were in, the sharing still continued. I would read a question and the children would look around at one another. Then, many times one child would say “it’s the dog!” and all the others would mark the picture of the dog whether it was a good answer or not. It was really difficult to convince them that this type of sharing was not appropriate. “But,” they would counter, “Mrs. So and So tells us that we are supposed to share in class.” Hmm . . . One little guy was so vehement about announcing his answers that I had to place him in the hall where the others couldn’t hear him. I administered the test from the doorway of the classroom. Yes, little children are very slippery when it comes to testing, but they are often much better at sharing.

Lately, there has been considerable talk in the jewelry design business about just that – sharing. When can we share an idea, copy an idea, sell an idea, etc.? You can find a link to my article on the topic of copyrights and ethics at the side of the blog on the website (www.dreamcatcherranch.net/designs) or go directly to it at http://www.magpiegemstones.com/ethics.html . This short treatise basically encourages us to share techniques, but to develop our own ideas rather than copying those of others. “But everyone does it!” Part of the problem is that we’ve spent a life time, beginning in preschool, of being told that we should share. Yet, when we share an idea with someone, it is NOT OK for the person to profit from it. We have to consider intellectual property and honor the initiator.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a clear purple vs. ecru issue. I want to share and that’s why I write this blog. I hope you gain ideas from it that you will develop your own, but if you make any money from my intellectual property, how about sending me some?

As I ramble on, I would be amiss if I didn’t state that the Easter season is a good time to share. Christians share in the joy of a risen Christ and littles share the joy of hunting for Easter eggs. I hope that someone shares a good thought with you and you have a happy Easter. Below is a photo of the bunny salad my grandson and I shared with his family. You can see that I inadvertently shared some marshmallows with my little friend.

bunny salad