Sharing is one of the first lessons we’re taught as kids. “Share your toys,” our teachers and parents and elders tell us. Or, “Share your cookie,” or “include others in your game.”
Somewhere along the way, though, sharing loses its value, and acquiring the American Dream takes center stage in society’s measure of success. Suddenly, each adult needs his or her own version of everything: car, extension ladder (I’ll get to that), snow blower, home entertainment center …. Always more and always your own.
This past October, my mother-in-law asked me if my husband would like an extension ladder as a gift for Christmas. I told her no thanks, and that we’d be happy to use theirs if we ever needed one. (We already had a ladder, just not one with an extension.) My husband wasn’t thrilled when I later told him. “It’d be so nice to have one!” he complained. I stood firm, responding that for maybe the one time a year we needed an extra-tall ladder, his parents’ house was an easy 20-minute drive away.
The idea that we each need our own [insert item here] crowds our homes and minds and shuts us off from potential interactions with others. As if we needed more of that with the words “quarantine” and “isolate” appearing more and more often in our vocabularies these days.
Couldn’t we become a more efficient community if we had just enough instead of an excess amount of food, machinery, transportation, etc.? A cluttered and crowded lifestyle points to a cluttered and crowded mind. Trimming down on material goods leaves space to focus on the things that matter: relationships with family and friends, the environment around us, kindness.
We could all use a little less stuff in our lives, so consider the following ways to spread the love:
- There are a ton of free transit options through TART, or Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transportation. As we see in this month’s Business Feature, microtransit is the way of the future. It’s user-friendly, effective, and truly realistic in our mountain towns. Let’s get on board (pun intended) with these transportation experiments to support a more sustainable way of life. Share a ride!
- Rather than buying brand new clothes or household decor, give someone else’s items a second life. Visit local thrift shops like Jackpot Vintage Secondhand Score, Tahoe Family Solutions Thrift Store, or Pass It On Thrift. Complete the circle by donating the things you no longer use.
- There’s also Imperfect Foods, a business that combats waste by delivering foods that would otherwise be thrown out. Imperfect Foods currently makes deliveries in Truckee and Incline Village, with other local communities coming soon. Share a perfectly imperfect meal!
- Truckee Rents lends out construction, household, lawn and garden, and a ton more of equipment. Share some supplies!
Start here: Consider one item needed in your life that you could borrow or rent and be perfectly sated. Maybe it’s one of the ideas mentioned above. Maybe it’s an extension ladder. (Just don’t ask to borrow mine because I don’t have one.)
In a country that celebrates the amount of material items we have, reject the expectation. Share your toys and cookies, include others in your game. Strive to adopt an abundance mindset, the idea that there are enough resources and successes to go around. Sharing with others celebrates the importance of gratitude and opens each of us up to a world of possibilities — new connections, unlooked-for opportunities, and more chances to see the good in others.
When we share, everyone wins.