Nothing New: Too big to be eaten alone


My neighbour is one of the most generous people I’ve met in the UK. She’s always got something to give, share or offer starting from time and tea, through to garden flowers, toys or even pieces of old furniture. What her body language and attitude communicates is…

…that there’s always something that we can give, that there is always something we can share…

Isn’t this true for all of us? I haven’t bought anything new for myself or my son this year and we still have enough… enough books to spread around, enough items of clothing to give to charity shops, enough toys to donate to poorer children, enough jackets to give to those in need… we have enough…

…because last year I was buying new things and a year before too, and two and three and four years ago as well…

…because we’ve been receiving presents this year, last year and two and three years ago too…

…because we and our family members have been sentimental about our childhood and adolescence and we’ve got those things too, things that are much older than our son, things that come from our past, things that are as old as we are… we’ve got them too.

And so we are full, our house is full, our life is full.

Some of you may say that this is a perfect state of being, that this is self-sufficiency, that you don’t need to borrow and that you don’t need to be too ingenious about dealing with your daily life, because for so many of us, a lot equals security, a lot means being safe…. and it’s so easy to believe it… so easy to think that… and to store, and to hoard, and to collect and to gather, and to keep and to hold on to… and to store, and to hoard, and to collect and to gather, and to keep and to hold on to… and it goes on again.

Our grandparents used to do that because they didn’t have enough… because they had plans for those items… because they knew what will happen with them. Often every one of them.

We do that because we think that we don’t have enough and because we must have it… because we feel insecure without having it all. The thing is as individuals we should not be really striving to have it all because as a society we have enough, we can swap and share the goods that we have, we can borrow from each other, from the libraries, from hire centers. There is no crime in doing this as long as we respect the goods that are available and treat them as if it was our pocket that paid for them, as if it was our hard work that purchased them.

Just yesterday our close friends came to our house to borrow some garden chairs for their party. We had a tea together, we had a chat together and we shared our news and ideas. Sharing created an additional opportunity for socialising, a spontaneous occasion to get-together…. Don’t we long for them?

This cake of goods that we store in our rooms, garages, garden sheds and attics is too big to be eaten alone… It’s time to invite others to the table.


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