The pleasure of sharing remarkable things

I’ve always had a curiosity for interesting things, but much more than that I’ve had a deep desire to share these interesting things with others.

My earliest memory of this was when I was 5. Somehow or another I heard the unbelievable fact that the sun is bigger than the earth (which I called the ‘world’ at that age). I don’t remember how I found out, maybe somewhere on TV or maybe my brother told me, but I wasn’t convinced. (My brother had the habit of telling me things which were sometimes true and sometimes him just pulling my leg to make me look dumb, so I was always unsure whenever he told me anything. This might actually be why I’m naturally so sceptical of everything at face value — I have to check for myself!). Anyway, it didn’t make sense to me so I asked my dad. And he told me that, yes indeed, the sun is bigger than the earth. I couldn’t understand how so he explained that it just looks smaller because it’s so far away. I remember this being very hard for me to grasp, but I eventually did and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. Ever. And I wanted everyone to know.

The next day or so, I was on the playground and we were playing tag. I remember telling my friend — I think her name was Connie…or Brooke? — that I learned something so cool: the sun, I said, is bigger than the world! “No it’s not! Look at it, I can fit it in my hand!” She made a circle with her fingers and put it around her eye. Yes it is, I said, I swear! I tried to convince her. She didn’t believe me.

Then in class, we were sitting around (on the floor, cross-legged) and the point of the exercise was something about being kind to people. My teacher, Mrs Saint Clair, explained that one way to be kind was to say something nice to someone. “What would be a nice thing to say to someone?” she asked the class. I knew exactly what would be a nice thing to say to someone! I shot up my hand and the teacher called my name. I stood up, looked around — I actually stood up to say this because I thought it was such a big deal — I said “I would tell someone that did you know the sun is bigger than the world?” I honestly thought that sharing this remarkable fact was the nicest thing you could say to someone! There were gasps and whispers and snickers from the other kids — no one believed me!

Now it turns out that that’s not what my teacher had in mind by ‘something nice’. She was very nice about it: “Uhhm, yes that would be nice to say.” She went on to give an example: “But what if you told someone ‘I hope you feel better’ when they are sick, would that be nice?” Everyone nodded. I felt foolish.

So that’s the first example of my lifelong love to share remarkable things.