The Washington Times-Herald

March 15, 2014

'Old-school' sharing found in different ways

By Nate Smith
Times Herald

---- — The concept of sharing has taken on a new meaning since I was supposed to have learned it many years ago.

What we all know, or supposed to be taught, was to let others take part in your good fortunes. When we all learned about sharing, it was over our favorite toy with our preschool friends or our siblings. Something I’m trying to teach my kids now.

Digitally, the concept of sharing has also taken root. On Twitter, it comes in the form of the “retweet” button and on Facebook, the “share” button. Many people love to share, especially on Facebook. But there is a case that can be made for sharing in the original sense, where someone hands another an item or a concept. Here are two examples I have found recently.

I love newspapers, and my favorite newspaper (besides the one I work for) is the New York Times. The Times does not deliver in my corner of Indiana but when I am able to, I love to purchase a Sunday edition. I love the feeling of reading through the Times, with its reporting and features.

The best part of the Sunday Times is giving it to others. Just this week, my father received an article from the Times’ op-ed section on the overuse of hormones in food. I was able to give my co-worker the Times’ Style magazine, because I know she enjoys the latest in fashion. My wife received the Times’ business section after I read an interesting article on the retail industry.

Now, I could have found these articles online and just hit the share or retweet button. There are articles that I share that way and there are many that do that with my articles. But it gives a feeling of satisfaction of giving someone some newsprint with a pencil-drawn circle and the words “Read This!” around something I believe that interests them.

That satisfaction is also something that can be shared, as evident with this next instance. Last week, I wrote a story on three students at Washington High School that are newly from Haiti. Two of those students were the Phillipe brothers, Stanley and Pierre Fils.

After the article, I learned from one of their teachers another student noticed the two wore the same clothes to school every day. The student asked teacher Paula Counsil if he could bring in some of his older clothes. All three were about the same size.

According to Counsil, the student and his brother do not come from means.

Their mother sells tamales on the weekends to help make ends meet when she is not working at Perdue. There is no father around.

This Tuesday, both Stanley and Pierre Fils came to school and found two backpacks full of six pairs of jeans and 10 shirts, all ironed and neatly folded. There is work in progress and people out there looking to help the family further.

It’s fun to share, whether it’s digitally or in the original way.

Nate Smith can be found on Facebook at Facebook.com/NateSmithWTH, or on Twitter at @NateSmithWTH. Email him at nsmith@washtimesherald.com.