Share and share alike

中国日报网 2018-05-04 13:48



Share and share alikeReader question:

Please explain “share and share alike” in the following passages:

Greed comes from fear of not having enough. You want to hoard things to make sure that you can make it through the next famine.

People don’t like greed in others because it doesn’t seem fair. We should all share and share alike so more of us will get through the next famine.

My comments:

You share with me and I’ll share with you likewise. Your “share” and my “share” are “alike”.

“Share and share alike” is an expression that most often makes an appearance in a person’s will stipulating that, upon death, their children will share and share alike the money they left in the bank, i.e. equally. If they have three children and 60,000 dollars in the bank, then each child is to receive 20,000 dollars. Each and every child will get the exact same amount.

In this case, share and share alike means exactly what it appears to mean. After all, all heirs are created equal, if I do say so, be they male or female, young or old, healthy or handicapped. Heir and heir alike, in other words.

Ideally, all household disputes should be handled this way, with each and every member being treated equally. That’s not the reality, to be sure but, still, ideally everybody should be treated fairly and equally. Likewise in a community, again ideally, a sharing mentality on an everybody-being-equal footing goes a long way, especially during times when the going gets tough.

Such as in a famine.


In today’s world, where inequality has reached unprecedented levels with the richest 1 per cent of the population on pace to owning something like two thirds of all global wealth, sharing – or even talking about sharing – is not de rigueur, to say the least. But in primitive times, sharing was near universal. Otherwise, frankly speaking, nobody knows where we would be today.

Anyways, and by the way, Daniel Defoe used “share and share alike” in The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe in 1719, in one of the earliest sightings of the phrase in literature, according to the Phrase Finder (

“He declar’d he had reserv’d nothing from the Men, and went Share and Share alike with them in every Bit they eat.”

And now, a few up-to-date examples of “share and share alike”:

1. If there was a theme to the 2013 Academy Awards, it had to be share and share alike. Despite early speculation that Lincoln was the contender to beat, it took home only two Oscars—Best Production Design and Best Actor for Daniel Day Lewis—with no other single film dominating the night.

Defying the odds, Argo became the fourth Best Picture winner in Oscar history and the first since 1990 whose director wasn’t also nominated in the Best Director category. Ben Affleck’s true story of the CIA and Hollywood collaborating on a diplomatic rescue also walked away with Best Adapted Screenplay.

The night’s other big upset came when Steven Spielberg was passed over for Best Director, the award going instead to Ang Lee for Life of Pi. Silver Linings Playbook managed to stay in the game with a win for Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress. And even Quentin Tarantino’s bloody revenge fantasy, Django Unchained, which some critics and filmmakers condemned for being exploitative of black history, got a taste of respect with awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (for Christoph Waltz).

Of all the major nominees, only Zero Dark Thirty was given the cold shoulder. Possibly swayed by criticism from the media and Capitol Hill over the film’s straightforward treatment of torture as an intelligence-gathering tactic, Academy voters declined to recognize it in any major category.

- Argo takes Oscar,, February 13, 2013.

2. Question: Is teamwork a natural gift or a learned skill?

I was taught by my two older brothers what teamwork means and how to be a good team player. They pounded its importance into me at a young age.

Even in business I refuse to throw a team member under the bus when things get rough. When times get better, it’s hard to forgive those who abandoned the team for their own survival.

When I observe athletics for National Scouting Report, watch how people treat each other in everyday life, or how groups cooperate or disintegrate in business, it’s obvious some people are really good at teamwork and others simple don’t get it, don’t want to get it or never learned how to get it.

Genuine team players are loyal beyond words. They go the extra mile for their teammates. Taking care of their own is more important than nearly anything to them. They don’t run to the coach or boss to point out others’ mistakes just so they can look good. Instead, they address issues they have directly so that the correction is made personally and misunderstandings are settled for the good of the team, not for to the satisfaction of either person’s ego.

That is not to say that when someone on a team steps way over the line that the culprit should not be handed over to the coach for a serious course correction. But there is definitely a line where team members, when guided by a sound moral compass, are better off settling problems internally.

Whether I would have learned good teamwork naturally without my brothers’ prodding is something I can’t answer. Hopefully, I would have, but how would one know for sure? Looking at others’ behavior gives us clues and helps us examine how we might have evolved.

Four signs of a person good at teamwork:

Share and share alike: These people understand that for a team to thrive, sharing is an integral ingredient. When people openly share with each other — equipment, personal stories, or ideas — they create an environment of trust. And mutual trust is what every good coach looks for in a healthy team.

Dust yourself off: People more concerned with the team than with themselves get over slights, injuries and problems faster than those focusing most all their attention on themselves. These are resilient, hard-working athletes. There is not a coach anywhere who does not love a hard worker. Brush distractions aside: When a team comes together, whether for practice or a game, distractions inhibit progress. Players who can quickly recognize distractions and effortlessly brush them to the side are mature athletes with the ability to set a positive example teammates will follow.

Fun catalysts: The people who can balance hard work and fun in any setting are often the people who solidify teams. With these catalysts injecting humor and energy, the entire group can feed off them and hop into a positive groove.

Three signs of a person not good at teamwork:

Petty party: No problem is too small, or too petty, for this person to run straight to the coach with finger pointing at the offender. Good coaches hate this. Really good coaches, in many situations, say, “You don’t need me to take care of this.” Poor coaches have a need to solve everyone’s problems, wasting a lot of time on trivial matters.

Bossy boss: Most bossy people jump into that role far earlier than they should. Their need to control and speak before needed means they are insecure and want to set the stage on their own terms before anybody else has a chance to weigh in. Good coaches dislike bossy players. They don’t mind players who are assertive at the right time, but bossy players are an unnecessary nuisance. Some people mistake bossiness with leadership, but the two are very different.

Frown town: People who aren’t good at teamwork are usually unhappy and frown a lot, usually because things are out of their control and aren’t going their way. They most often find themselves out of the team’s circle of friends and confidants. Coaches are sometimes surprised to find these people on their team. During tryouts these people usually look normal, but they are not. In life, these are all bad signs of things to come for this person. Life will be hard.

- Is teamwork taught or does it come naturally? By Alan Parham,, April 26, 2016.

3. The bike-sharing industry has brought many lifestyle changes in China, and the business has inspired entrepreneurs in many other industries. Starting with the bikes themselves, read how China has embraced the concept of share and share alike.

While bike-sharing is no rarity in other parts of the world, the Chinese version has given a whole new meaning to the concept, with customers able to pick up a bike anywhere in a city (thanks to a GPS-enabled app) and leave it anywhere at the end of their journey.

The concept is all the rage among students and young professionals across the nation for being convenient, green and cheap. An average 30-minute ride costs 0.5-1 yuan (7-14 US cents).

Shared bikes have become the newest battlefield for global capital, with large amounts of investment into billing-on-time bike-rental mobile applications.

- What’s hot in China’s sharing economy,, May 24, 2017.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)

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