In the past few days I’ve come across a number of articles on community building using different methods, including resource sharing. There was some good reading and lots of food for thought in them so I thought to share them with you. Also, today feels special. I don’t know what it is but I woke with a powerful feeling of potential and positivity about projects today. Maybe it’s the result of getting my first-ever Etsy review yesterday (wheee!), or a wonderful comment from Esther of Dear Friend London in my Instagram feed, or just the incredible blue sky this morning that has me buzzing. But I’m here to harness it!
Lily Cole recently launched a new idea called Impossible.com. The idea is to build social cohesion through encouraging and generating acts of kindness. Acts which require no reciprocation. Cole feels that although the Pay if Forward idea has huge merit, an intense feeling of connection is generated when something is given & received for free, no reward required. Her idea is to create hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands (!), of those little acts, resulting in an enormous number of individual connections, building to community connections and greater social cohesion. I LOVE IT!!! If it works as Cole imagines it, what a powerful way to build connections. (Although I have to say I don’t like the site itself, it feels a little clunky.) Read the interview with Lily here in the Guardian.
Also from the Guardian, they had a piece yesterday on a whole list of money saving ideas and tools for Londoners. Many of these extend past London, and many of these are also hugely relevant to resource sharing, which (I believe) is a substantial component in community building. There’s info on guerrilla gardening, renting allotments, freecycle, clothing swaps, etc. Check it out! Lots of these are available in your area too! Although the canoe-to-work scheme might be a bit of a stretch in river-less Brussels (Yes, I know there’s a canal, but coming from Dublin of the sea, the many rivers & canals, moving water feels pointedly absent here!)
Also, this shop in Germany!! (Another guardian article… I should just send you all there to yesterday’s edition rather than reposting the whole thing…)
On an unrelated note, just for fun given the day of Blue Sky Thinking I’m in, I also came across these thoughts from bnox blog on flow this week: flow being the physical state combined with state of mind when you are in full concentration on one particular subject/idea/project and everything else in the world falls away. It is the realm of artists and sports people and is accessible to all of us if we could just give ourselves the space and triggers to access it. I found that stage of flow recently when I played violin again for the first time in years. I mean really played, not the occasional tune at Christmas mass, or a family celebration, but the intense concentration required when sight-reading music for the first time. Combined with playing with a new partner, each of us trying to find the other, and trying not to fail miserably in front of each other, resulted in total absorption and a euphoria which bubbles to the surface in the form of loud spontaneous laughter. It was bliss… And of course, I found my mind working overtime afterwards: planning, plotting, scheming… I always think my best when I’m surrounded by music, either after playing, or when I’m at a concert. I usually bring notebooks to concerts for that very reason!
So I hope some of these reads inspire you to a little Blue Sky Thinking of your very own. The larger community building project that is the end goal for Bazaar feels a little closer today!