Fresh strawberries in sunlight in South Korea.

Sharing is an integral part of life in Korea. I thought I was good at giving, until I came here.

Something I love about Korean culture is that sharing is simply what you do. You eat from the same dishes during meals. If you’re going to get coffee, you take orders. If you have a candy bar, you split it with everyone in the room—even if it means you only get one bite yourself.

I know this isn’t necessarily true for everyone’s experience in Korea, but it’s very true of mine.

To be honest, I’ve struggled with this a bit. My selfish, perhaps “American” tendency is to hoard my own things. I’ve even hidden snacks to eat when no one else is around. Just so I don’t have to share. Isn’t that terrible?

My co-teachers always bring something for everyone. Today it was fresh strawberries. Yesterday it was Ferro Rocher. Last week we had walnut cakes, pastries, tangerines, and rice cake. No thanks to me.

Of course there have been many times I’ve shared, bought lunch, or grabbed coffee for my co-teachers. But, it’s not something that comes naturally for me. It’s not something I always want to do. I really want to change that.

My life has been nothing but blessed by the generosity, hospitality and unconditional love of friends, family, and even strangers around the world. It’s time I start giving back, or at least break off a piece of what I’ve been given to share.