Relearning Not To Share

September 2021 Multimedia Brady L. Kay

When I was growing up, my father was very protective of his belongings as everything had its place, which was a difficult lesson for me to learn – especially when it came to borrowing his tools. He always locked his toolbox if he wasn’t around, but as I became older and more responsible he eventually trusted me with the key. Not my sisters. Not even my mother. My dad only trusted me with that key to his toolbox. In his defense, my mom was known to loan out tools to neighbors, and we all know how that goes. 

My dad’s possessive ways taught me a valuable lesson in responsibility I suppose, but I’ve tried hard with my own kids to be a little more flexible. Although at times I’ve considered slapping a big sticker across my stuff to warn everyone that it’s not ever to be touched, I’ve mellowed a little over the years as I try not to be nearly as protective of my possessions.

With that said, there comes a time when it’s nice not to have to share and if one good thing has come from this current pandemic it is that we’re no longer encouraged to share. This has to be killing all elementary school teachers right now.

During the COVID-19 outbreak we’ve all been trained to overuse hand sanitizer, thoroughly wash our hands and whatever you do don’t even think about sharing your pen. Fishing trips this summer were a little interesting, as some of my friends would give me the blank stare if I asked to try a lure from their tackle boxes. Whoa, message received! No touchy; got it.  

When I heard New York Sea Grant Extension was providing New York state’s freshwater marine industry for-hire boating sector with a series of six decals to encourage public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions, it made me smile a little. The outreach is part of the 2020 edition of NYSG’s nationally-recognized Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign.

The decals will adhere to boat surfaces and of course they include: “Mask Required,” “Use Sanitizer,” “Wear It” with a life jacket symbol, and others. However, my favorite decal is the, “What’s Yours Is Yours.”

Others have a blank line so you can write your name with a marker to designate person-specific areas aboard the vessel for each individual’s fishing pole or diving gear. Now you’re talking!

There is no cost for the decals for qualified for-hire boating businesses. The captains or business owners of charter services, boat rentals, tour boats, and boats for-hire for leisure cruising, fishing, or diving in New York state may request decals by emailing a business name, postal address, and telephone number to

Since my recreational boat is not for-hire, I will have to use the printable templates for the decals, but that’s as easy as going to Even though my dad no longer boats, I’m considering printing him out a set of decals that he can use around his house.

The project draws inspiration from a marine industry theme from the 1990s that fits today: “Boating in New York is good, clean fun... let’s keep it that way.”

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York with Great Lakes offices in Oswego, Newark, and Buffalo. Learn more at

As for me, I’m thinking about printing out a couple of those decals for my office too, not that it will keep my stapler from being swiped on occasion.

  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!

Welcome to Great Lakes Boating!

Subscribe to the magazine!

Take a Look!

Already a subscriber? Please check your email for the latest full issue link.