Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter or identica.
As kids, we’re taught that sharing is good, and yet competition is what is really drilled into us. We compete for profits, positions in a corporation, status symbols, space.
We’re tearing each other down instead of building each other up.
A culture of sharing has always existed, from the earliest tribal times, and it’s seeing a resurgence on the Internet these days. This is a good thing.
But now we’re going to look at where the rubber meets the road: how you can start sharing today. Build communities, beautiful public spaces, stop thinking about private property and how you can build fences, and start thinking about ways to use common resources to reduce wastefulness and to start tearing down those fences.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Help an entrepreneur with a Kiva donation.
- Volunteer your services with a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or other charity organization.
- Donate money, food, or others goods to charity.
- Bake cookies or brownies and share with a neighbor.
- Put your favorite recipes on a blog and share with the world.
- Volunteer your expertise (whatever it is) to the world, and give those services to anyone who needs them.
- Give step-by-step instructions for doing something valuable you know how to do, online, for all to read.
- Give your books away to friends or charities.
- Start a community garden in your neighborhood, or contribute to an existing one.
- Start a CSA, or become a member of one that exists.
- Become a member of Freecycle, and participate.
- Join or form, and participate in a cooperative (food, bikes, books, housing, more).
- Give people a ride in your car. Carpool.
- Let strangers use your car when you don’t need it.
- Hold potlucks every week, rotating among friends/family.
- Look into co-housing.
- If you own copyrighted work, uncopyright it.
- Perform random acts of kindness.
- When someone wants to repay you for something, ask them to pay it forward instead.
- Contribute code to Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS).
- Donate money to a small programmer who has created FOSS, or buy shareware.
- Clean up a park near you.
- Sign up, participate, and contribute to bike sharing, car sharing, and other sharing organizations.
- Help transform streets back into public spaces meant to be shared by everyone. (more)
- If you’re in southern California, check out Neighborgoods.
- Borrow and lend things in your neighborhood by using Share Some Sugar.
- Barter via Craigslist. Or try u-exchange, trashbank, care to trade, trade a favor, or joe barter.
- Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook.
- Create great software and give it to the world for free.
- Smile. Be compassionate in all human transactions.
- Invest in a friend who wants to start her own business. Don’t ask for the money back for at least a few years.
- Make things, and give them to people.
- Read to the blind, help the elderly, assist those with disabilities.
- Start or contribute to a tool-lending library in your neighborhood.
This list is only to get you started. The ways you can share and make this world a better place, today, is limited only by your imagination.