The world I inhabit has come to the fore.
In the last three weeks, my hometown of Lismore has seen a massive surge in localised sharing and caring, collaborating and giving – most of it moneyless. Some horrendous flooding caught a lot of people off guard and damaged homes and businesses, leaving many locals in need. What came in the aftermath was beautiful.
Food, cleaning, childcare, furniture, and many other goods and services were given freely by friends and strangers alike. Those who asked were given what they needed with no money changing hands.
It is washing over me – this is normal, healthy human behaviour. It’s not ‘the best’ of human behaviour or ‘only seen in a crisis’ behaviour. It’s my world but it exists in everyone’s world, everyday.
The world of sharing, giving, collaborating, caring, paying it forward and gifting is always here, dwelling in the shadows of the moneyed world. A crisis like this only serves to bring this moneyless world to the fore. It is valued more highly when there’s a crisis. It is always present though. We just don’t give it much attention when we are doing our everyday, moneyed lives.
We often give away things, feed people for free, help someone out with a ride or carrying something. We ‘shout’ a friend to the movies, give a stranger a light or a pen, take the neighbour’s bin in, feed someone’s lost dog, ask a stranger on the street if they’re OK. We often help out with looking after someone else’s kids or pets or garden. The gardeners in our community will share excess produce, seeds and knowledge without a second thought.
These things seem unimportant to most of us most of the time. To me they are evidence of another world running in the background – the world I inhabit.
What we give our attention to, grows. We can notice these small (or large) acts of giving and give them our attention. We already have the makings of the world we want.
I now see that my moneyless life is simply a step into a life I was already living. I stripped away the moneyed interactions to reveal an already existing collaborative world I was only dabbling in previously.
This world is incredibly fulfilling. It’s here already for all of us. Let’s give it more life – let it breathe.
Acknowledge the fact that:
We love to give.