I was out in the park playing football with my son the other day and I noticed that every time the ball went off track someone walking past would return it (or try to).
It didn’t matter how young or old they were or whether they were a guy or a girl, they all did it, apart from one lady who had some earphones in and didn’t even notice the ball.
One guy looked like he really wanted to join in the game racing for the ball a couple of times. He was walking past with his two little girls, neither of which could be convinced to join in…
We didn’t ask them to do it, they didn’t expect anything in return, they just did it to be kind and I think most people would do the same. It definitely made our game of football easier and more fun.
Wouldn’t it be great if life was always like that – if people always ‘returned the ball’. If we could always count on others to be there for us when we needed them.
- If when we needed a seat on the bus, a stranger would stand up for us,
- if our car had broken down another driver would stop and help us
- if we had no time to look after our garden, a neighbour would mow the lawn for us
- if we wanted to learn how to play the violin, a friend would offer to teach it to us.
- if we needed some new sofas an acquaintance would offer to pass on their old ones
- If our home was ruined by flooding that a family in our town would offer to take us in until we were able to return home
- If our life savings were stolen that they would be replaced by kind friends, neighbours and even strangers.
If whenever we wanted or needed something, someone else would willingly offer to help just to be kind without any expectation of receiving something in return then we wouldn’t need insurance, we wouldn’t need those savings that were stolen, or need to steal anyone’s savings and we wouldn’t need to stockpile food or stuff. We would all share more, we would all waste less and we would be living far more sustainable lives. Instead of every home in suburbia owning a lawnmower, a screwdriver, a ladder and all the things that are repeated over and over again in homes around the country, which are so rarely used, there would be one per street or every few streets…
If you are thinking well I do want to learn violin, but don’t know any violin teachers, or I do need some new sofas, but none of my friends or family have any going spare, or even I would like to share my screwdriver with my neighbours but don’t know any of them to speak to, then check out Streetbank
, which are just some of the giving and sharing websites out there.
All we need to do is change our perception of things a little and decide that sharing our skills, time and things with other people is a bit like returning the ball – something which is normal, natural and even pleasurable. Then we will have a hope of life on this planet being sustainable in the future…
I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges
. If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action on my DoNation page
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– thanks so much