How Important is Learning How to Share?

There is something I've noticed every single time I've taken my son to his infant play classes: parents always encourage their kids to share.  They tell their children to share toys and share turns playing on the obstacles.  Even when their kids don't want to share, parents make them do it.  They act like instilling this value in them is the most important thing in the world; maybe it is.

Being able to share is a quality I want to teach my son.  It's a value that I believe is necessary for his livelihood.  My wife and I encourage him to share his toy and play well with others. (He has no choice since my wife and I like to play with his toys when we play with him.)  As an only child myself, I had a difficult time as a child learning how to share, but I learned, and believe that it's been essential in my life's success.

The ability to share is important, but how important is it really?  What impact does learning how to share have on our children and the rest of society?  Will it help our children build strong friendships?  Will it help in future relationships by allowing people to share love?  I wonder if it will help our children cooperate in school and in the workplace.  Does learning how to share help people be safer drivers and "share the road"?  Does it help people play fairly both in sports and in life?  I wonder what wealthy people who donate millions and billions of dollars to charity (see Warren Buffett) learned about sharing as a child.  Would there be less greed in the world if more people were taught how to share?

I wonder.  What do you think?

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