On Sunday morning, I was delighted to wake up to a radio program about collaborative consumption, Buy Nothing Christmas, and the Sharing Economy. Finally, finally, our media is starting to take more notice of people who are refusing to buy into rampant consumerism, people who find alternatives to following our culture's obsession with possessions. More and more of us are discovering that we can be happy with less, and that celebration does not require that we buy, buy, buy. If you like to listen to good podcasts, you can find the radio program by clicking here. It's 27 minutes in length, and worth a listen.
One of the worst things about this consumer culture in which we live is the fact that it has brainwashed us into thinking that we all have to have our very own fill-in-the-blank. But as many of us already know, the truth is that we don't all need our very own snow blower, lawn mower, apple picker, car, or basketball hoop. Some things are better held in community where many people have access to them. Cooperating and sharing with neighbours means that people use fewer resources to get along in this world. Not only that, but just getting to know the locals and sharing things between us builds symbiotic connections that strengthen community and create opportunities for the sharing of more ideas toward a better and kinder world.
If you're lucky enough to have an active community league in your area, get a membership, and find out about community-building and community sharing initiatives. Often there are playgrounds being planned or other things in the works that can use all kinds of neighbourly support. If not, it's always possible to invite a group of neighbours to gather and discuss projects that can make your neighbourhood a happier and more self-reliant place. I can't resist attaching this video about a woman who did just that. Pam Warhurst and her friends at a kitchen table in Todmorden weren't thinking about the gift they were creating when they started the Incredible Edibles project, but that's what they have done. Sometimes all it takes is one person with an idea to bestow something fantastic upon an entire community!
Video from KarmaTube