Sharing Experiences Matters - Big or Small

Yamun Sharma, Generation Global Alumni Moderator

Sharing is one of the essential skills one needs to put to work to have a meaningful and effective dialogue. It is also one of the natural elements of human behaviour. We are naturally inclined to share with others what we think or how we feel. Yet, many young people hesitate to share their experiences and ideas.

Sharing is an essential part of our daily lives. When you share your experiences with your peers, whether through a video conference with your global peers or a classroom discussion, your peers are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their own. This way you even get to learn something new from their experiences.

Also, when you share an experience, emotion, opinion, or a belief, you can substantiate and illustrate yourself better. And it becomes easier for people to understand why you believe in something you do.

Young people can share their experiences and ideas wherever and whenever they see an opportunity. For instance, during a video conference, if one of your global peers wants to know how your culture is different from theirs, you should grab the opportunity and share about your culture in detail.

There are no restrictions on sharing what matters to you. If the thought of sharing your experiences holds you back because you believe that you do not have big experiences to share, then, you should get over it right away because all experiences are equally valuable - big or small.

Small things have their own value, and they leave a huge impact on the world. You just need to have faith that your experience is valuable and means something to other young people. Because it surely does! Your unique perspective as a young person might lead to the next breakthrough discovery in the world. It might solve the problems of world hunger, climate change, or renewable energy. However, that is only possible when you share.

But, before you go out and spread your wings sharing your treasured experiences, there are three quick tips to make your sharing experience more effective and memorable:

  1. Share the Details: Make sure that you go into as much detail as possible. Try to picturise your experience for others so that they can just feel like you do. Share with them what you feel and why you feel that way. Try remembering the three Ws. They stand for When? What? Why? (In that sequence).

    Start by sharing when something happened or when you had the idea for what you are sharing, was it when you were young? Or was it just yesterday? Then share what happened or what you thought? After that, share why it is important to you or why you think the way you do. If you address these 3 Ws, you’d get really close to being a master in sharing.

    Instead of saying something like “I love reading books” to a friend. Say something like;

    “When I was young, I was introduced to a book named Harry Potter, I found it interesting and started reading more similar books. Since then, I have loved reading books.”

  2. Explain the Words: Think about this from another person’s perspective. Would you understand every word of your dialogue if you were from another community? If not, consider defining the jargon (words that others might be unaware of).

    As an alternative to saying to your global peers during a video conference, “I love Kathakali (a jargon) and you should definitely watch it someday”. Say something like:

    I love Kathakali, which is a form of folk dance in India, in which the dancers present a drama through dance wearing some genuinely beautiful and unique masks. You should watch it someday”.

  3. Be Fearless: While sharing an experience, you do not have to be embarrassed, afraid to open up. Simply share your feelings, thoughts, or beliefs. A person with good dialogue skills would never embarrass you for your opinions (and neither should you). So, if you are respectful, you have every right to be brave and frank out there.

    As an example, suppose you are in a group at school where your peers are discussing gender equality, and some of your peers support the idea that women can only work in certain professions, and you disagree with them. Then, instead of mincing your words or fearing what people would think if you said something unconventional, just say it.

Now that you have read about my experience and the tips and recommendations I have for sharing, go share your own experiences, ideas, and thoughts with the rest of the world. Remember that no experience is too big or too small. All experiences matter, each in their own way. Whatever you share would be unique and new to someone who has had different experiences or has different perspectives than you. So, continue to share.

Learn more about how young people participating in the Ultimate Dialogue Adventure can apply to join our Alumni programme.