Kate DeStefano Weisman, an acquaintance of Tavangar who served in the Peace Corps in Chile, says her global experience reinforces Tavangar's contention.
"We would visit the Mapuche Indian communities in the campo," Weisman recalls. "These people had little in terms of material possession. As we were leaving they always offered us gifts such as fresh eggs, which was their livelihood, (because) they would sell them at market. I never wanted to take them, but I had to learn to graciously accept their great generosity."
Which isn't to say you should force yourself or your loved ones to scrape by with too little food, of course.
It's food for thought, though, when you're deciding whether to buy yet another game for the aforementioned Xbox 360.
Be bold. "Sometimes, sharing and giving means putting yourself out there and offering a brand new idea," Tavangar says.
She recalls a recent story about groups of elementary students forgoing their traditional holiday celebrations at school to make and decorate snowflakes for Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary students to hang in their new classrooms.
"It takes some vulnerability and courage to say, 'I know we have this tradition, and we always do this activity and this song and these games, but I want to propose something really different that's going to be about somebody else,'" Tavangar says. "You're proposing a change, and you don't know how it will be met, but it teaches our kids to make that courageous step and do what they think is the right thing to do."
Books that teach sharing
Children's Books Guide (childrensbooksguide.com) offers a list of picture books that offer kid-friendly lessons in sharing. The top three:
"We Share Everything!" by Robert N. Munsch (Cartwheel Books). An irreverent tale of two kindergartners struggling to share.
"Mine! Mine! Mine!" by Shelly Becker (Sterling). The story of a girl who offers up her attic castaways when her parents encourage her to share with her cousin.
"One of Each" by Mary Ann Hoberman (Little, Brown Books). A sing-songy tale about the pleasures of having someone to share with.