A viral post has sparked a debate among parents on the importance of sharing.

The "sharing struggle" is something every parent can relate to.

There's a swarm of kids on the playground. One comes up to your kid and wants to play with whatever toy they have.

Immediately, we spring into action.


"Share, sweetheart! You have to share!"

But do they have to share? Do they really?

One mom doesn't think so.

Alanya Kolberg recently explained on Facebook why she tells her son that it's OK to say "no."

She recounted a recent visit to the playground when her son, Carson, was bombarded by a group of boys demanding he share his toys.

Instead of simply trying to keep the peace and avoid conflict, Kolberg had a different message for her young son:

"You can tell them no, Carson," I said. "Just say no. You don't have to say anything else."

MY CHILD IS NOT REQUIRED TO SHARE WITH YOURS.As soon as we walked in the park, Carson was approached by at least 6...

Posted by Alanya Kolberg on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Of course, as soon as he said no, the boys ran to tattle to me that he was not sharing," she wrote.

"I said, 'He doesn't have to share with you. He said no. If he wants to share, he will.'"

Kolberg wrote that she got plenty of dirty looks from the other parents, but she explained her reasoning:

"If I, an adult, walked into the park eating a sandwich, am I required to share my sandwich with strangers in the park? No! Would any well-mannered adult, a stranger, reach out to help themselves to my sandwich, and get huffy if I pulled it away? No again."

"The goal is to teach our children how to function as adults," she wrote. "While I do know some adults who clearly never learned how to share as children, I know far more who don't know how to say no to people, or how to set boundaries, or how to practice self-care."

Saying no to sharing may sound counterintuitive, but when you think about it, Kolberg's message makes perfect sense.

"As an Educator, I completely agree with this. When children are not taught to assert themselves when necessary, it leads to so many situations of bullying," wrote one commenter.

Though not everyone agrees:

"I'm sorry but nothing material is worth a fight. I will share everything and anything I can," responded another.

Of course we want our kids to share. Of course we want them to show affection to grandma and grandpa. But isn't it equally (or more) important that they know their own comfort and happiness matter?

Judging by the viral reaction to Kolberg's post, plenty of parents out there think the answer ought to be yes.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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