We often teach our children to share with others, so they develop social skills and don’t become self-centered. So we think. Learning to share seems to be a good skill to acquire. It shows empathy and kindness. As long as you’re sharing the good thing for the other party!
You wouldn’t share a bag of sugary sweet with a diabetic person, would you? Or if you would, that wouldn’t be very kind. However, by refusing your offer, the other person would teach you something if she opens up about her diabetes. Sharing would open the door to caring.
However, how awkward the situation seems, you can see the positive discussion about diabetes for instance that starts from it. The Huffpost published a thought-provocative article entitled Is Sharing Really Caring? The author, Avital Schrieber Levy, a.k.a. the parental junkie, comes back on the parent’s obsession of sharing. He shows that we sometimes miss the big picture by focusing on the details.
By asking the question, you force to think about the yes or no answer. If sharing, after all, wasn’t caring? In this chapter, we explore the dynamic of sharing, giving and caring. We explore this dynamic in a nudist context, where nudity can be seen and felt controversial and shocking.
Is sharing nudism with everybody is caring about them? Is sharing your nudity with all your friends and family is caring about them? Is sharing the nudist lifestyle a good thing? How can we share nudism and care for the other? How can we share nudism so the other feel safe to try or not? How can we share our nudity so we can have others accepting it freely and with a smile of comfort? These are all the questions I will try to answer in this chapter, so we can share the joy of nudism!
The Conflict of Sharing
Some children share freely, some don’t. Some go naturally to others, some don’t. As adults, we carry our learning with us. As a kid, I remember loving to share my toys, my games, and my room with others. It was much funnier to be with friends than to stay alone. It made my mother crazy, as later, she found pieces of clothing that weren’t mine and didn’t find some that she bought and had just disappeared. The same happened with records that I was sharing to friends while friends were sharing some of theirs. Later, as a college student, I would love to share my work and seek others to share, to save time and deliver better work.
Sharing came naturally, without thinking about it. However, sharing controversial items or topics, like sex or nudism, taught me a valuable lesson: the best learning doesn’t come from unquestionable sharing but from conflicting ones.
When I share with people that I’m a nudist, some people frown and throw me a weird look. I’m not flaunting about nudism and doesn’t force the topic unto others. When it comes, I’m open about it, and when I can bring it to the table, I do so. I know though that sharing my nudism may result in conflicting feelings and discussion, as nudity is a private matter for most people.
Knowing the risk of misunderstanding or conflict, shall we share our views and positions on nudity and nudism then? This is where we shouldn’t miss the point of sharing. I love this sentence in the Huffpost article: “In truth, humans are much messier than that and children are interested in the social connection and exploration.”
Sharing, and the conflict that may arise, is an element of social connection and exploration. If we’re prepared, we can connect and explore better together.
“Oh, but, you know, I’m a nudist and don’t find nudity a bad thing or a perversion.
—Really? I would have never guessed you would agree with those people.
—Does this make me a different person?”
The whole conversation with an acquaintance who didn’t know I was a nudist could have gone sour, but it didn’t. We dug into her beliefs about nudity and come to the conclusion that no, simple and plain nudity isn’t a perversion, and no, she would never get nude in front of strangers, but yes, I was still the same person.
It took some time, conflicting views, and respect, love and care. A conflict isn’t about shouting, violence and total dispute. A conflict is about listening, understand and agreeing to disagree or potentially finding a workable consensus. As Avital Schrieber Levy writes, “Sometimes the conflict is the point,” not sharing. The conflict always teaches us something on our and others’ limits. Understand them and working from those limits may push them, gently, and expand our territory. It becomes stronger and easier if we add an element of joy.
The Joy of Sharing
I’m a big fan of TED Talks. I have spent numerous hours watching talks, going to talks, and absorbing talks with attention. I’ve discussed with presenters about their talks and all, really all, said they were stressed and joyful before their talk, and even more joyful after. Why? Because they felt honored to have been chosen to talk during a TED event, and to be able to share a topic they felt passionate about.
Sharing lifts us, whether it’s good or bad news. When we share bad news, we seek relief. When we share good news, we seek acceptance. In both cases, it contributes to our balance and belonging to social, personal and professional circles.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”—WINSTON CHURCHILL
I love this quote by Sir Winston Churchill. Hundreds quotes exist about sharing and giving, and most talk about the joy we feel when we give and share. We all want to know what the meaning of life is. A piece of that meaning is to give to others what was given to us. We sow what we reap. Offer love to receive love. Give joy to receive joy.
When somebody shouts at you or is angry against you, don’t answer back, just smile and be compassionate. Share love and joy at that precise moment. Anger and quarrels have nothing to hook upon when you only show joy and love.
When people disagree with my views on nudism, I smile at them, accepts their points of view and show them I care. Their dispute won’t change my inner joy about nudism and its many benefits. This is the joy that I’m sowing in the mind of others. The joy that plain and simple nudity brings me and my other fellow nudists. It will eventually grow and, at least, question her beliefs with respect. We’re all different. And if we’re open, respectful and caring, we can learn from our differences and accepting them to create a better world.
Learning and Accepting Differences
I enjoy discussing nudism with textiles. I listen to their points of view, I ponder their ideas and convey mine. I never try to force my conviction on them about nudism. I just share my experiences and how nudism is helping me becoming a better version of me.
Nelson Mandela said that he never lost, he either won or learned. You never lose by talking about nudism, you either win a new practitioner or you learn why she won’t be one. By learning and accepting her point of view, you can understand her better and offer a different perspective with all due respect.
Showing that you care and seek to understand the person you’re sharing your views with builds rapport and respect.
On a warm day at home, a friend was visiting and we were having a glass of wine, while discussing the news. I came to propose to him to swim in the pool. He said that he hadn’t taken his swimsuit. I told him that I could either give him one or he could swim naked, as I would be naked if he were fine with it. He hesitated a couple of seconds and replied by telling me he didn’t know I was a nudist. I confirmed and said that if I didn’t have an opportunity to talk about nudism, it wasn’t brining the topic forward. He accepted the swimsuit and told me he was fine with my nudity. After our swim, and while we were chatting, drying our bodies in the sun, he told me that swimsuit was in fact useless and took it off. We spent the remaining of the day, including lunch, naked. Had I imposed my views, I’m not sure he would have embraced nudity. I just respected his hesitancy and let him to lead the choice.
I had many other opportunities when I didn’t even talk about nudity and swam with a suit. I perfectly knew the topic of nudism was too provocative for the person visiting, and his or her friendship wasn’t ready for it. If I love to be naked as much as I can, I respect opposite points of view as well. Sometimes, I’m just not ready to break a friendship for indulging in a personal comfort. However, when the time comes, and it always comes or I manage to sneak it in, like in the previous experience, I open the nudism discussion and end up generally in my birthday suit.
Humanity is so rich of diversity, it’s a pity not to listen and learn from differences. They all offer a unique perspective about what life is about. Sharing our points of view and listening to other’s, even antagonist ones show we care. Sharing our points of view is a way to sow a seed and caring about others are helping fertilize that seed for it to grow.
Next part – Caring is Fertilizing
Strip Nude, Stay Nude, Live Nude and Share the Nude Love!