Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sharing – The Grown-Up Way ; )

I've been a subscriber to Zen Habits for about 4 years now, and Leo's posts always inspire me. He writes a lot about minimalism, healthy habits, finances, and happiness in general. This guy is one of my heroes. He and his wife have 6 young kids, he makes a living on writing, and he has the most positive and useful blog on the interweb. He practices what he preaches and shares those experiences so that others can learn from them. Today I got an e-mail with his list of 34 Little Ways to Share With the World.

Some of these are SO easy - anyone can do this stuff, and we all SHOULD be doing this stuff. Sharing only makes things better!

Here are some of my favorites:

+ Donate money, food, or other goods to charity. We all have food and "other goods" that could go towards a better cause. If you have extra food from your garden, make a pretty platter full of fruits and veggies and take it to a homeless shelter. Clean out your basement, garage, and closets and donate anything you don't love or use. (This will also help you get rid of clutter and clean things up.) I follow the 1 year rule with clothes. If I haven't worn it in a year, odds are I'm not going to next year either - donate them. Put your things up on

+ Bake cookies or brownies and share with a neighbor. I don't know my neighbors very well, and though this would be a nice gesture and an ice breaker, I'm just not that outgoing. However, I would be comfortable bringing treats into work or sending a surprise package of goodies to a friend. Easy!

+ Put your favorite recipes on a blog and share with the world. I already have one in mind - I'll save it for another day though mmmmm ; )

+ Give step-by-step instructions for doing something valuable you know how to do, online, for all to read. One of Matt's favorite websites is Instructables. Here, people post instructions for how to do just about anything. It's so cool that people share their know-how - pass it on!

+ Become a member of Freecycle, and participate. I found my area's Freecycle group on Yahoo Groups - such a cool thing to be a part of. Each day I get a list of posts from other group members either wanting or offering random things. Everything is free. From computers to kitchen utensils, you can give and request anything (of course, the giving part is the point). I've seen people give away cars!

+ If you own copyrighted work, uncopyright it. Why keep it for yourself? If it's something you like, wouldn't you want to share it with the world? Here's what Leo has to say about it.

+ Perform random acts of kindness. Easy.

+ Clean up a park near you. "Leave it cleaner than it was when you got there" our parents always told us. Apply that to everything. Take an extra bag with you when you're walking your dog so you can pick up trash along the way.

+ Borrow and lend things in your neighborhood by using Share Some Sugar. Such a cool website! You might also want to check out TimeBanks (where people share their time and services). This reminds me of the "Free Box" that Matt and I saw in Telluride, CO. Right off the main road was a huge wooden box with compartments labeled for different categories (books, baby, housewares, etc.). I was already impressed with Telluride, and this was icing on the cake. It's common to donate things to Goodwill, or other similar organization, where people can then purchase what you donated. In T-Ride, people put their donations in the Free Box. Anyone can take anything from the Free Box for, you guessed it, free. The whole town shares!

+ Be compassionate in all human transactions. This brings me to Joe Rogan's blog. One of his posts was all about how he got the idea that we are all connected and we're all one. So, if you treat each person as if that person is you, it's easy to be compassionate : ) It's kind of trippy, but is probably my favorite post of his. Check it out.

+ Make things, and give them to people. I can't wait to participate in my first swap. Those of you that do the various swaps are the best at this. Putting together beautiful packages of goodies and sending them out to complete strangers...for no particular reason, just sharing - I LOVE IT!

So there you go...I've shared some things : )

TODAY I LEARNED…sharing isn't just for kindergarteners!

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