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Most of us, as young children, were taught to share. We shared our toys. We shared our treats. Someone, some adult, was always around to remind us that any largesse was meant to spread around, even if we didn’t especially want to. It was the right thing to do.

Nowadays, sharing has gotten a bad name. Sharing wealth, for example. I had a boss, a millionaire many times over, who opined that he didn’t feel he paid enough in taxes. He would have gladly paid more, but no one asked him to. Cut to the Koch brothers grasping onto their every nickel like a pre-three-ghosts-plus-Marley Scrooge. I know which side I stand with.

Sharing seems to be confused with that other “s-word” — socialism. Sure, one day millionaires pay a fraction more in taxes or poor children are allowed health care (a basic human right) and WHAMMO! Suddenly, we’re living in Nazi Germany (fascists, by the way) or Soviet Russia (Communists). That’s a totally different head. Totally.* It’s not going to happen that way.

Because being kind to others, especially those in more need than we ourselves are, is not only a Christian tenet, it’s a tenet of most religions. Do unto others. The Good Samaritan. Good Karma. Funny thing is, the people who are most adamant about America being a Christian nation seem to be the very same people who don’t want their money taken away in order to help the less fortunate, thank you very much. It’s their money, their business. They built it, with no help from the government — who paved the roads that bring their customers to them, or from police and fire departments that keep them safe, or favorable zoning laws or any one of the many things that help us all, because we have decided to share our resources with each other so that more of us can be prosperous.

Where are all those adults who obligated us to share? Where did they go?

When my brother was two or three years old, he tape-recorded his Christmas wish list, ending it with, “All for me and none for Lizzy (the little girl next door)!” He’s a grown-up now, and laughs along with the rest of us at his toddler self’s pre-holiday greed. But there are plenty of people who aren’t laughing. They still want it all. They don’t want to share. And maybe the government shouldn’t make them. They, themselves, should make them. Isn’t that what a Christian nation would advocate?

* To anyone who watched the great ‘80s sitcom “Square Pegs,” thank you for getting this joke.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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