This just in: the act of sharing a meal makes you kinder and gentler.
One of the most satisfying things about life is eating. This, actually, is not up for debate. I mean, have you ever met a human person with a heart that beats, a brain that thinks, and breath in their lungs who has said, "No, I do not like to eat." Eating truly is the best, because food isn't just our life source, but our happy source, too.
Because we're a society so fixated on food and eating, it would make perfect sense that how we dine with others has a large effect on who we are or the people we could be. While there has always been a strong emphasis on the importance of having a family dinner, as a way to decompress and spend time with the ones we love, sitting down and enjoying a meal with friends, even strangers, is good for you, too! Really!
A new study out of the University of Antwerp in Belgium has found that the act of sharing a meal, as in literally sharing a plate of sushi or pizza or something else yummy, instead of just ordering your own meal that you keep all for yourself, makes for kinder and more gentle people. For example, people who share food are the first to give up their seat on a subway, lend a helping hand to random strangers or a friend, volunteer their time, and a whole boatload of other altruistic behaviors. And all because they know how to share.
The study's author Charlotte De Backer said the reason people can benefit from sharing a meal is because they're forced to think about fairness in regards to equal portions, authority, because there is something to be said for those who are served first, and greed, in that no, you cannot have everything you want or more than the others at the table. It may seem like child's play, but these are lessons that some adults have yet to learn and work into their daily lives.
While it will always seem like a good idea to keep every last piece of food to yourself, if you're looking to improve your humanity, then consider getting a couple different dishes with your friends the next time you go out to eat. You have to figure, you've nailed the whole sharing a bottle of wine thing, so maybe you can equally share a few plates of food, too. If you can't, then no worries.
As someone who stands by the saying, "Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself," I'm not one for sharing either. Besides, the world needs "bad" people to balance all the good from those out there who know how to share.