A couple of years ago I read about a new trend in cities of "the sharing society". Now a sharing society is nothing new. On my travels I have met people in parts of the world who own the clothes on their body, a couple of pots for cooking, a rug to sleep/sit/visit/pray on. If they acquire a radio, they play it for everyone around them, even if there is only static reception.
I have a lot of stuff laying around, stuff I use infrequently.
To share or not to share?
I have a camping stove in pieces because a friend did not use it correctly and it blew up. I have a tent with a hole around the grommet, because it was set up too tight. I have a new cashmere shawl, that is warmer, richer in wool, but slightly smaller than the one I lost to my friend’s washing machine. It also does not have the memory of the little shop in the Himalayas where I acquired the other one. Ah sharing!
Sharing is about experiencing others. With it come the delights and the disappointments of the unexpected. As our world moves toward more Uber taxis, Vinted clothing, and Airbnb-s, people get to share experiences. At the same time in other rising economic worlds people move away from their sharing world, build big mansions to put their newly acquired stuff in, stuff they don’t have to share with anyone.
There is no happy solution for all the stuff we produce and need to move around to keep the economy going. Even if that stuff is just an (sometimes virtual) experience. A world without stuff is a world without an economy. The stuff that moves around, from you to me, to others, to the landfill, is the stuff life is made up of. It’s the stuff that transforms our life. However you do it, by sharing, or by passing it on, by receiving or acquiring, as long as it moves, you are part of the daily transformation that we can call living.
You can pass these thoughts on, or comment on them with your thoughts. It’s all part of a sharing society.