An old man wanted to bring home from hospital his beautiful, dying wife with a nice surprise waiting for her. But having wasted all his money on hospital bills, he couldn’t afford it. However, he found the way and when his wife came home, she found hundreds of flower buckets waiting for her on the porch.
The way was due to an inspiring idea initiated by Rebecca Rockfeller and Liesl Clark, two friends who some years ago came across a simple problem. In Rebecca’s backyard she could grow nothing but green beans and ended up having too many of them. Liesl helped her out by giving some of them away. This became a thing and friends starting bringing other things that they had too many of, in exchange for the beans or for other stuff. There was one big table in the park and everybody brought what they didn’t want and took something else.
From this idea, the Buy Nothing Project was born and now it has become a worldwide social experiment. Facebook groups have been created where people announce what they have to offer, finding other people who are in need of the specific product, offering another one. Trading products in not necessary. A person can offer whatever they want (either a product, or better yet a service) and take nothing in return, when other people may not have something to offer, but are in need of taking.
People, Rockfeller explains, are attracted because of the free goods, but soon they decide to stay because of the mentality. In this way, communities of sharing spring up, and people start to disconnect the idea of self worth from the idea of ownership. What Rockfeller and the BNP witnesses is a change of mentality in the people participating, that could indeed be valuable to our society in general. Here is something to pay attention to.