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Seattle Times Grapples with the Stickiness of Sharing

Submitted by on December 23, 2009 – 8:00 pm4 Comments

The Seattle Times’ Pacific Northwest Magazine just featured a great article about sharing. Something I love about the article is that writer Carol Ostrom seemed to search far and wide for examples of the most difficult sharing arrangements, and she grappled with some of our biggest fears about sharing. In fact, she interviewed me at great length about my own most challenging sharing experiences, and probed to learn about how they were resolved. As she puts it, most people’s biggest fear around sharing relates to “c-c-conflicts.”

And I’m glad she chose to focus right in on this, because skeptical readers might otherwise roll their eyes an article that extols the virtues of sharing, without addressing the barriers. This is especially important, because she didn’t just write about simple sharing arrangements, such as lawnmower sharing. She actually gave examples of what we might call EXTREME SHARING, including a moving example of organ sharing (donating a kidney to a stranger). She even touches on the sharing of lovers among members of a commune (noting, however, that the commune members found that possessiveness and jealousies eventually got in the way of sharing everything). Very interesting stuff!