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I went through an Anne Lammott phase last year where I wanted to read everything she had ever written. I knew that there had to be someone in my network of friends that owned her books so I sent out a post on facebook and my friend Kacey got back to me and graciously lent me her copies. She also shared her enthusiasm with me about the books and we even went to hear Anne speak later that year together with a few more friends. If I had ordered the books on Amazon I probably would not have gotten to share that experience with her. I believe that borrowing is a sign of a healthy community.
Another example of sharing within our community is an extension ladder. Everyone in our neighborhood lives in a row home and you need an extra tall ladder to get on the roof, they cost around $250 for a new one. You only use it a couple times a year so it would be silly for everyone in our community to have one. So about 5 guys went in and bought a ladder together. It stays in our garage and the couple times a year that someone needs it they call us and come and grab it.
Our neighbor Phil also keeps his motorcycle in our garage and in return we get grass fed beef that his family raises out in Lancaster.
Another example of sharing resources that I have experienced are clothing exchanges. Someone volunteers to be the host, then the guests bring snacks to share and clothes that they are ready to give away. Then you get to go through one another’s clothes and whatever is left over when you are done goes to the thrift store. It is a great excuse to hang out and catch up and also get more use out of things that you are not using.
We also regularly share tools, food, cars and extra hands with our neighbors. It’s a way that we can tangibly meet one another’s needs without having to buy anything. It connects us and brings us closer. It forces interactions and makes us aware of what is going on in our friend’s lives. It is also way more satisfying than going to Target.
I’m curious, what kinds of things do you exchange with your friends?
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