[Tuesday May 13th]
I am taking a break from a Share conference I am attending as part of Common Change…
I really wish I could capture the heart and essence of the opening remarks and the morning’s sessions, but I imagine I will fail dismally.
But I will try out something together anyway because I really believe this is something we all need to be thinking about, reading up on, talking about and getting involved with.
Especially for those of us who try and follow Jesus and get particularly excited by the picture of the early church in Acts 2.42-47
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = TIME PASSES = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
[Fri May 16th]
So it is a few days later now and the conference thoughts and conversations with kilt-wearing Scott and his lovely wife Jo-Jo and my beautiful wife Val are still resonating in my mind.
Also my head is remarkably pain-free which should be normal but has not been for the last month until yesterday’s root canal which seems to have sorted that all out and which was made possible by a very generous donation from our Common Change group who covered the complete procedure [which would have really been difficult for us to get to, especially with a huge transition and move back to South Africa just around the corner] and so that is bearing physical testimony to the fact that this thing really works. Groups of friends pooling money and then meeting needs of people they care about.
The one idea that jumped out at me at the conference earlier this week was the phrase “Access over Ownership” which is so huge, both in terms of Sharing Economy and a new way of thinking and living, but also in terms of the idea of how the environment is impacted positively when we start sharing the things we have [think four people car pooling as opposed to four invididual cars, think four households sharing a washing machine as opposed to four washing machines largely being inactive etc] and how it encourages a greater or more intentional community as we are brought face to face with the people we are sharing with.
# They discussed six areas of Sharing including money, transportation, accommodation and things.
While this may not present the end to capitalism as we know it, or even possibly the best solution to capitalism as we know it, the Sharing Economy definitely seeks to tweak and adapt the systems that we have so that the person on the street can be more involved in being directly involved in making the money and in both the giving and receiving of different services and items in a number of win-win situations.
For many of the people we interact with, this is already bordering on old school, new way of thinking stuff… but i imagine that for a lot of my friends back home and maybe some of you as well, this could be quite light-bulb illuminating, a eureka moment of why-did-we-never-think-of-this-before? And it’s not like it hasn’t been happening for hundreds and maybe thousands of years in traditional tribes and rural villages and more extended family embracing communities, but as an idea that is starting to affect and inspire and ignite the mainstream into action, it has a strong feel of new to it.
IT BEGINS BY THINKING DIFFERENTLY
My beautiful wife, Val, has this saying that she has embraced as a life mantra that she found and which goes like this:
‘We’re not thinking our way into a new way of acting; we’re acting our way into a new way of thinking.’ [Katherine Fulton]
And we have done just that. In small ways so far, but hoping for opportunities to do more in the months and years to come:
# Two years ago we joined a group called Relational Tithe [now Common Change] where we gave ten percent of our earnings to a common group fund and then shared needs of people we were in one degree of relationship with to the group and were able to help a whole lot of people in exciting ways. For the last 15 months we have been working full-time with Common Change.
# This year we hosted Couch Surfers for the first time and it was such a great experience.
# During the conference we visited our friends who were renting an Airbnb apartment for the week and got to have a glimpse of that.
One of our shared values is Hospitality and so we are looking to have a place with an extra bedroom in it when we move back to South Africa [like we did here in Oakland, California] so that we can live out that value by hosting people – those we know and are friends with and also hopefully strangers and friends of friends and possibly even people we meet who are in need.
If you’ve never thought about this, please THINK ABOUT IT.
If you’ve never talked about this, please TALK ABOUT IT with your friends, family, work colleagues, sports teammates.
If you’ve never done something about this, please DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT – try something once, experiment, take a risk, explore…
Together we can change the way the world is operated – this is an exciting time we stand at… don’t be left behind [or merely choose to continue working within the old system]
I would love to hear your stories and experiences of any of these things you have tried or benefited from or given a chance to so please leave them in the comments below.