Share and Share Alike

The ownership society we know today was preceded by the sharing community which was more sustainable and where we will find ourselves in the future.  Already, I see a shift happening where more people are moving beyond a world where the self, and fulfilling our material needs, is the center of the universe and are returning to caring about others.

balancing

 

Children were encouraged to develop strict discipline and a high regard for sharing. When a girl picked her first berries and dug her first roots, they were given away to an elder so she would share her future success. When a child carried water for the home, an elder would give compliments, pretending to taste meat in water carried by a boy or berries in that of a girl. The child was encouraged not to be lazy and to grow straight like a sapling. ~~

Mourning Dove Salish

I learned a lot from the students attending the local university and visited the apartments where I lived.  One particular student aligned so closely with what I learned from Native American people that I couldn’t help but think we, as a society as a whole,  are on the right path…finally.    He commented on ownership being the “destruction of our innate and natural tendencies”. Don’t let anyone tell you the youth of today are self-centered, they are any thing but.

 

Sharing a chore in the garden
Sharing a chore in the garden to help a neighbor who couldn’t get on the ground to do this job for herself.

 

We will continue to see a clash between those still holding on to their illusion of ownership and those who have embraced the concept that all resources should be shared mutually for a time while we go through this shift.  A minor example of what I mean can be explained with a story from one of my boys.

My son was walking with a friend and had finished a drink.  He didn’t want to carry the container back to his friend’s home and saw a garbage can sitting at the curb.  This seemed like the perfect solution as there were no public waste receptacles along his route.  Having been taught to care for the community by not littering, he lifted the lid, placed his container inside and returned the lid.  The owner of that particular can came running out of the house yelling at my son to respect his property and keep his hands off.  My son didn’t miss a beat. He asked the man if it would have been better if he acted like so many other people and just tossed his trash on the ground.

The company that picked up the town’s trash required that you use one of their garbage containers, so this trash can wasn’t actually owned by the man who confronted my young son but because it was loaned to him he claimed ownership.

….I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.

Red Cloud(Makhpiya-luta) , April, 1870

 

We put so much weight on our ownership we forget to look at the bigger picture.

Personally, I believe in a sharing economy where one doesn’t have to own everything they might need to have.  This week we have been experiencing heavy rains.  I have an umbrella left behind by a student who lived in the same apartment complex I did.  Today, a friend is borrowing that umbrella to walk to an appointment.   I’m not going any where so it would have just sat here dry and lonely.

We can share what we have, whether big or small.

When I lived in Arizona my next door neighbor was a Navajo man who was raised with traditional values.  He taught me a lot about how far we can go in sharing.  A few years ago I shared his story, but it’s worth sharing again. He owned a home in another city, but needing work his house would have sat empty, so he offered his home to friends from the Reservation who had found jobs in that area.   He never charged them for living there. His reasoning was that he had something his friends needed therefore it worked.  Because he was raised with traditional values he believed in sharing his home, not renting it. He felt his home was being looked after and that was a fair trade.

This same man walked everywhere, including the fourteen or fifteen miles one way to work. One day after a work-place accident, injuring his leg and ankle, he commented that he wished he had his truck.  At this point I had known him for two and a half years but never saw him with a truck.  He explained that he bought a truck four years prior but on the day he took possession of his truck  he took it to the Reservation to show his father, his father remarked that having a truck like that would make working his ranch so much easier. He handed the keys to his father and got a ride home.  This man had his brand new (not used mind you) vehicle for less than 24 hours but had never driven it after that day.  Yes, just like his house he made all the payments on the vehicle he never saw.

“Once I was in Victoria, and I saw a very large house. They told me it was a bank and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back with interest. “We are Indians and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them with interest, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank.”

Chief Maquinna, Nootka

When I asked him why he didn’t call his father and ask if he could at least borrow his truck back until he healed from his accident. He was shocked I would even think that was an option.  To call his father and inquire about his truck would have been rude.

I have a long journey ahead of me yet to fully embrace sharing to the extent my Navajo neighbor saw as natural.  At the time he and I had this discussion my youngest had just learned to drive.  I had informed my son if he wanted his license he would have to have his own car because I couldn’t walk every where I might need to go and couldn’t risk him having an accident and leaving me car-less.  Listening to my neighbor I felt shame in the extent to which I claimed ownership of my car by refusing to share it with my son.   I still don’t know if I will ever reach that level of sharing having been raised with Western opinions but I like to think I get closer to that goal each day.

The tide is turning

A couple of years ago I won a book from David at the Good Human called Sharing is Good: How to Save Money, Time and Resources through Collaborative Consumption by Beth Buczynski.

sharing-is-good

At the time I was pretty smug thinking I knew all the sharing resources available to us.  To my surprise I didn’t know a fraction of the ways in which a sharing economy has grown.  We all know about Craigslist and Freecycle, same with seed banks and many others but what surprised me was that there was in addition to house sharing a resource to permanently trade homes.  From homes to clothing everything we could need, or want, can be found through sharing groups.

Half of this wonderful book lists all the resources you could ever need to share what you have and receive what you need.  Everything is broken down by subject into an easy to use reference.

(Note: all quotes borrowed from Native American Quote’s)

Let’s quit worrying about whether something is our possession and look for ways we can share.  Your actions will be repaid many times over.

 

How would you feel if you saw someone placing trash into “your” can?  

Do you take advantage of sharing opportunities?

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44 comments

  1. Lois,
    I might write more later..but for now wanted to put in a bit, and see what others think..

    I am conflicted on this whole thing…In theory, maybe it is good…but in reality, in my own life,
    what I have seen happen, as soon as “some” is shared, it is a never ending suck hole…..never enough (and I repeat, that is just my own observation, my experience…)

    for myself, I pretty much have to preset my limit, in my own mind, or could easily be “sucked dry” so to speak.
    I had to learn this very hard lesson.

    Somewhere, when I was young, I developed the idea that if I shared what I had, even if I didn’t have much, then those I shared with, would in future help/share with me. Sadly it usually was not the case.
    It has taken many of those bad experiences for me to grasp the concept that I need to preset limits, at least in my own mind.

    I recall reading about what you speak about re the Native culture, and so on. Maybe it worked, at one time, but I do not see it working in this day and age. There will always be those who keep taking and taking, and expecting the others to share, to put in what they have worked for to someone else’s benefit. In the end, if no one takes care to look after themselves, it doesn’t end well for the entire group.

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    • I agree that some will take advantage giving nothing in return but after seeing the success Wendy who blogs at Quarter Acre Lifestyle has had with her Freeconomy group I think that by opening ourselves to joining groups of like-minded people we will benefit from a sharing economy. Wendy has shared that her group has grown quite large and the few who were out to “get” without giving back anything were quickly weeded out. She has so many stories to share about people coming together to help a family in true need that it warms my heart. One story she shared was of a family just starting out in a new situation that had nothing. She put out a call to her group and soon her home was overflowing with items dropped off for this family. As I understand it this family is now a part of their group. In a sharing economy those who refuse to give back will be left behind and will suffer for their greediness, at least that’s what I believe.

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  2. oh, Lois…
    I have no problem at all with someone placing trash in my trash can..
    but, I recall, even from say thirty years ago, that there were nasty things which went on with trash cans, frequently enough that it was talked about, experiences related, even police involved. Folks were nervous about what was going on around their trash cans, what was going in them, and so on. It is not so clear cut. Honestly, it was such a common problem, I am still antsy about my trash can…

    -trash cans contents were often set on fire…
    -it was not uncommon for things from criminal activities to be put in trash cans
    -trash cans were tipped over
    -nosey neighbours were known to go through trash cans and “discuss” things
    -heavy (secret, or so they thought) drinkers were known to take their bottles over to the neighbours trash can
    -kids found playing in trash cans because they found the contents fascinating (not too safe either)
    -etc..

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    • How horrible, especially children playing in trash cans and people setting fire to them. While I do my share of dumpster diving and that includes looking in trash cans I don’t dig through a persons trash can. Last summer I spotted two lovely planters that hang from a porch railing on the top of a person’s can and took them home but I would never dream of snooping through the can. I’ll grab furniture set out next to the can as well and depending on the neighborhood or where the furniture is sitting will ask the homeowner if it is there to be picked up and if I can take it.

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      • I agree totally with what you do..

        what I described, far as I can tell, was kids who were bored/unsupervised/un taught/etc…But all the same causing grief, and maybe re problems/hazard (fire). I remember, not so long ago, I stopped at a small shopping mall. There was the big dumpster, and big glass recycle (folks could put their glass discards of any type in.)…These were slightly taller than my head, but not so tall that a couple of determined ten yr old boys couldn’t get in, and they did. I noticed one in each, and stopped my vehicle to see what was up ..I had the setting fire in mind, as well as wondered if they were okay, or maybe even looking for food (yes, I have heard a few stories about that)…As I got out of my car, it seemed to me they knew they were up to no good, as they heard the car stop and started to each crawl out. As I stopped to “chat” (and I had to consider my approach, as I did not want to have any chance of being accused of something)…They both looked clean and well maintained ten yr olds (or so). Nice hair cuts, nice clothes.

        I asked what they were up to, and each immediately said they were “just smashing things inside the bins”…I asked if they realised they could get hurt/cut on stuff inside doing this (glass/metal etc..etc..), or something could throw something nasty on them..They both just shrugged and said it was fun smashing stuff.

        I was at a bit of loss what to say, to discourage this behaviour (they had been asked if there parents knew where they were, and said it didn’t matter, they’d been gone for hours..sigh)…So, I hit on this
        I said…”Look, this is very dangerous and you could get hurt. Also, these bins are private property (not actually true, once garbage is at the curb I believe it becomes “public” ) (by this time they had gotten all the way out and on the ground)
        I said that I knew their father, and if I saw them in garbage bins again, I was going to make a public mischief complaint to their father and the police.
        they left..

        sigh

        and with all that, I was still concerned someone would come after me and complain that I harassed kids.

        now the interesting thing was, these kids were well dressed, and hair cut, and actually stood and listened/nodded while I spoke (no one told me to f off and ran off)..So, I do think they came from what would be called “good” homes. But, to my mind, their behaviour was not “good”, it was dangerous, at the very least, to themselves.

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        • You did a good thing shooing the children off. Yes, dumpsters are dangerous places for all kinds of reasons. Yes, I have gone through dumpsters to save things worth saving and my grandchildren have been with me many times but they were always warned of the danger and we did our best to pull things out without actually climbing in. It sounds to me like the boys you encountered did come from good homes but just had too much time on their hands and unsupervised at that.

          I think we have a different set up for our dumpsters. Dumpsters here are only for apartment complexes and businesses so they are considered private property. Many businesses have added fencing around their dumpsters that they lock except when the truck comes to empty it. The fast food and grocery stores that do this simply because they don’t want people getting food for free make me mad but otherwise i understand why they do it. Being on private property if a person would be injured they could be held liable and sued, then there’s the issue of people using dumpsters for their household trash instead of paying for home pickup and that’s not fair.

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          • Thank you. It is ridiculous how I worried for quite some time that some one would “hunt me down”/see me by accident, and chew me out..sigh.

            these were dumpster for a small mall, but they were set just off the mall property in the alley. I know what you mean about many businesses /malls have fences around the dumpster, for safety etc.. and most here do that too. No idea why these were situated as they were..but..

            another story of “garbage picking” …
            this was back before we had a sort of bin for our garbage (obligatory now), and a city truck comes around and picks bin up (it is small bin) and dumps.
            back then we put out bags. I never put out anything “good” in the garbage , never put out bottles, etc (which could be returned for money etc..)
            and I was very careful to tie and often double bag and tie each bag if something smelly was in it, as we have crows that scout around and will peck bags to pieces if they smell something..
            so, one day I run out with a bag I had forgotten, when I heard the garbage truck.

            there, was the garbage truck/garbage man, and he was actually pulling my garbage apart piece by piece and tossing each bit in the garbage truck. I was kinda stunned. Going through my mind was the thought that if I chewed him out/made any complaint, I would not get my garbage picked up, and maybe needlessly embarrass him.
            Again,i tried to be carefull (hey maybe he heard jingling and though I had accidently dumped my piggy bank)

            so I said..”oh…gosh, what are you looking for?”
            he replied he always went through everyone’s garbage in case they had chucked any pop bottles.
            I replied that I seldom had pop bottles, but if I did I would put them in a clear bag/grocery bag beside the garbage, to save him the trouble…(no I was not thrilled about this, as any I did have I returned for money)…

            From then on, every so often I put out a few pop bottles in separate bag beside the garbage bag..

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          • Wow, that would be weird to see the garbage man going though my trash. I knew two guys who worked for a garbage company and they would grab things they saw, not that they pulled the bags apart, and sold or took home to repair and use themselves. I always thought they were lucky to get to see all the good stuff people put out but I wouldn’t want that job for any amount of money.

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          • it was weird….
            yes, of course, I too know of cases folks take what is set out etc…
            it just was so very odd, he was really actually picking anything in it apart..

            what was also weird, and I still remember (both in this case and in the case of the boys)
            I remember how fast I was “thinking”, the huge number of scenarios which ran through my mind and my deciding on the words I would use in each case..huge number. Just goes to show the mind can work quickly, and can make fast good decisions, as in both cases I think what I said was “the right thing”…

            as a side benefit to my “knowing” he was apparently looking for bottles, and my setting them out from time to time
            well, technically we had a limit on how much garbage backs, refuse from trees, bags of grass , etc could be put out at the time. During that time period we had a huge number of big wind storms/other storms, etc, and lots and lots of branches from trees and refuse. We would bundle them up nice, and set a bag of bottles out, and no matter how high the pile was (and some storms it was very BIG), all of ours would “go” on garbage day. Finally a couple of folks in the neighbourhood asked me “why does yours always go, and often I have much less and it does not “go””? one said he’d been putting a few small bundles out each week, and one an old bale each week, and it never “went”. I mentioned that if they put out some bottles, maybe it would go. They did put out bottles, and it all went. (they came to tell me)……………….

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          • How crazy that you have to pretty much bribe the garbage man to stay out of your trash. I hope you shred any thing sensitive, just in case.

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          • yes, it is crazy, but frankly, one has to be carefull not to piss them off (for real or imagined cause) or one’s garbage might get missed or such..

            yes, we have shredded for yrs and yrs..

            no long have that garbage man trouble, as it is obligatory now to have bins for garbage and recycle , both picked up by city truck and charged to us each month, whether we use it or not.

            what we have now, is one or more , and I think just one, fellow who goes through everyone’s bins if they are anywhere visible, garbage night early hours before pick up.

            now we have NEVER had anything but true garbage in ours, and smelly at that, but none the less, he persists…(although I think he has stoped going through ours now…maybe fore ever)
            at first we would put the bins out night before , say ten or eleven pm., as pick up can start any time from seven or even six thirty am..It varies. Then, this fellow was going through them, extensively…So, then we left the bins up in front of the garage, to be put out first thing in morning, assuming he would not come on our property. NOPE. on he came.
            so, then we put them (on that night) in a side yard, behind a closed and latched (although not locked) gate.

            be darned, he opened the gate and came on in to have a look.
            keep in mind, we have NEVER had anything but nasty smelling garbage in ours…no treasures tossed/no pop bottles/etc..
            well that night with the gate, it was right by our bedroom and even though we are on second floor, we have a roof vent on the outside, and the sound of the gate latch came in loud and clear. We all raced out, as by then we had all heard it, and “caught” him leaving, and he headed for his “cart” on the road and off.. but we got in a few (or my six four son did) loud cautions to stay off our property, etc.. And I got in a “well we will just phone the police”..And since then he has not been back. But, it upset me to have someone come right into our yard…sigh. I find it odd he does not seem to remember our garbage is a lost cause for “picking”. I know some chuck good stuff out, but we have not.

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          • So this is a homeless man who goes through your trash even into your yard to dig through it? I’m glad you were able to scare him away that would make me mad too.

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          • we’re pretty sure he is not homeless, and pretty sure we have pegged the house he lives in.
            now, we don’t know if he room and boards there, more or less, or is one of the owners/etc..
            we think, maybe he is just board, and maybe very frugal, and cant fathom what some folks chuck.
            having said all that, our garbage would not provide good pickings, so to speak, so it is odd that he would persist.

            as I say , though, he hasn’t been back , since that time we all ran out.

            I really don’t like folks coming on my property, and for sure I don’t like, it sort of scares me, to have them boldly open a gate and go into my side yard.

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          • I completely understand why you don’t like people on your property and especially going through your things on said property, I wouldn’t either. I’m glad he hasn’t returned.

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          • thanks, Lois.

            also, we bought (on sale), a really good outdoor solar charged, motion activated light. Have it set for dark hours, and it works like a charm, and is very bright. Even in the cold/snow, it still works.

            we figured it was a less “confrontational” way to “warn” folks off from entering our yard. (which they have to open a side gate to do). It oddly enough has a click when it goes on, which we can hear in the bedroom, as it is mounted very close to the bedroom. So if we don’t see the light, we are very likely to hear the click. At any rate, if someone enters the gate and it bursts on, it is likely to make them think twice…(after all it could be hooked to an alarm).

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          • I have a motion detector too, mine’s not solar but being where it’s located solar wouldn’t work any way.

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  3. If a person tossed a can into my trash can to avoid littering, I would be pleased. If a car stopped with a giant bag of trash that would fill the can I pay to have emptied, I probably would say something. When I was a child, neighbors borrowed a cup of this, a cup of that from each other all the time, and within the family and somewhat with neighbor’s, tools, vehicles, special clothIng (like a black dress coat for a funeral, dress or jewelry for a special occasion), time and expertise were shared.
    One of the surprises of moving to the rural South has been that that tradition continues. Stores are far away and the sense of “taking care of family” is still strong. Last night a friend who lives at one end of the road in a half million dollar house came riding down the road past our house on a very old blue tractor borrowed from the 90 year old man at the other end of the road who lives in a small, very old ramshackle house. Steve brings them things from town, helps them stack wood, and I have no idea what else. We have been taken in as family by those on our road and try to be as generous and caring as they are in return. It’s humbling because some of them have very little.

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    • You have been very fortunate in moving to a neighborhood like that, Cynthia! What I’ve seen personally is that those with the least are the most open to giving. I am surprised that your neighbor with the half a million dollar home is so good to the man down the road who has so little. I see too many with money and nice things ignore and not want to associate with those “beneath” them.

      To keep costs down therefore need to work outside the house less when raising my boys I bought an older mobile home with cash and fixed it up. We lived in a mobile home park that had less than 40 homes in it and even in that situation the few who had the nicer or newer homes would turn their noses up at the ones they thought had less.

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  4. Darn, I just lost my long comment and don’t have time to write another. Basically, sharing is an ideal that we should all strive for, but we all have to be playing the same game. Unfortunately, there are those out there who will take advantage of any situation for their own gain that make others wary of sharing.

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    • Very true. I think we can build a network of those who are willing to share and share alike and leave those who aren’t willing to play by the same rules behind until they see the benefits and want to join in.

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  5. I think Live & Learn hit the nail on the head – a sharing society really only works when everyone shares. I don’t know how one crosses that gap – we have such a huge lack of trust these days – I mean we can’t even agree that hideously wealthy people and corporations (most of whom have acquired their wealth off of the backs of others) should have to pay at least as much in taxes as the rest of us! One doesn’t have to look far to see the “it’s not fair – somebody’s getting more than me” rhetoric that so permeates our politics.

    I can’t help but believe that this attitude comes from a place of deep unmet emotional need. In so many ways, our culture is simply anti-human… people don’t feel nurtured and cared for, we mostly feel hostile and defensive, and I think this is why so many of us find it so difficult to share – we fear being taken advantage of, and rightly so. As my grandfather used to say “It’s a dog eat dog world… it’s up to you to make sure your dog doesn’t get eaten!”

    With the Bernie Sanders campaign, there’s been a lot of talk about “Democratic Socialism” and, having lived in one of the Nordic societies that are so often touted as models of this approach, one thing that really stands out is the emphasis on treating everyone equally. I mean, I think that one of the reasons there is so much opposition to government social programs (which I see as sharing on a societal level) is that they are viewed by some as “stealing from some people in order to give to others.”

    But in Norway, the equation was much different. Everyone benefited equally from the social programs. Every mother received a government stipend to help her raise her child – not just those in “financial need” – EVERYONE. Every student got free tuition to the university – not just “financial aid” for some, while others have to pay full price. Everyone got free health care, not just those who “qualify.” The list goes on and on. I really think this is the key to building a sharing society. I think people need to feel like others will share with them before they are going to be willing to share with others.

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    • Agreed. I think it’s possible to build sharing just like we have with Freecylcle and a few other groups and leave those behind who don’t trust or feel sharing isn’t for them. I also believe that as things worsen and it becomes harder to meet our personal needs, yes I’m talking possibly generations from now, those people will have to get over themselves and learn to join in.

      Your point about Norway are very important. Swiss Rose who lives in Switzerland and Sue Dreamwalker in the UK point out striking differences as well in how they live versus how we live in the US. Some where along the line we decided we were superior and wanted the biggest and best. I think it’s the basis of that wedge that leads to inequality and your grandfather’s view of dog eat dog. Surprisingly, I didn’t grow up in a family that shared that dog eat dog mentality. My family was Roman Catholic in a good way. The examples I had were of standing up when seeing someone not being treated fairly. In 1960 my grandfather refused to eat in a restaurant in the south when a black man was refused a drink of water or food because the black section was filled. They also took in a seminary student, who was also black, over Christmas much to the disgust of the neighbors, the same year because he was stranded part way between his home town and the seminary and would have had to spend the holiday in the train station. But I also saw them babysitting and taking a neighbor child every where they went so her mother could work and not charge her a cent. They shared what they had with friends and neighbors whether that was produce from their garden, clippings from a rare tree that one mentioned they would love to have or tools. But neighbors did the same. When my car was buried in a snow storm stranding me at my grandparents the neighbors put up barriers so snow plows wouldn’t hit my car and later dug it for me. I could give lots of examples of the give and take I saw growing up so never believed the dog eat dog theory until I was an adult dealing with businesses and people further from my hometown.

      I try not to discuss politics too much here but I am curious if you would be willing to share how you feel about Bernie Sanders. The fears of socialism here crack me up. People who cry they don’t want socialism love the socialist programs they receive. Social Security being the biggest one. I know I don’t have to list them all for you. 🙂 I see the Sanders campaign as a good thing to get the country talking and would love to see his ideas of free medical and tuition come true but I don’t think the country is ready for that yet, we’ve been brainwashed that socialism is bad. I’m also very interested to see if in future elections if someone less wealthy will make a run for the white house using crowdfunding now that Sanders has shown it can work.

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      • What wonderful examples were set for you at an early age. I fear my family was much more into the “it’s not fair” model of life. And to be honest, I only met my grandfather a few times – my mother’s father… he died when I was 9. Ironically, most of what I know about him comes from things my father told me, since my mother rarely spoke of him (they were pretty much estranged – seems to run in the family!) Anyhow, he was a businessman and an alcoholic, and from everything I’ve heard and intuited, I can’t help but think that he must have been a very unhappy man.

        I think the Bernie Sanders phenomenon is very interesting. Part of me is thrilled that he’s getting so much support, but tapping into populist rage always makes me a little bit nervous because people who are motivated by anger are, by definition, not terribly rational. When I hear his ideas for universal health care and free college tuition, my first thought is: Great… I want that too – but that stuff is really the responsibility of the legislative branch, not the executive branch – so even if he were to get elected, he wouldn’t be able to make any of it happen. And then people would get upset and turn on him like they turned on Obama (allowing congress to fall into Republican hands, and relegating him to the role of a veto president), and it would just go downhill from there.

        What’s even more frightening to me is the “Bernie or Bust” stuff – the people who would refuse to vote for Clinton should she win the nomination. It would be Ralph Nadar all over again, and the prospect of seeing either Trump or Cruz get elected just makes me want to cry – either that or leave the country. I’m no fan of either the Clintons or the establishment in general, but it’s a helluva lot better than the alternative!

        I dunno… it seems to be the perennial problem with liberals and progressives – always letting the perfect be the enemy of the good (or the “not as horrific” as the case may be.) The thing is, our system of government was created specifically to ensure that change would happen slowly. Ideological revolutions like the ones the Bernie supporters want are virtually impossible to achieve, and that is by design. The conservatives understand this, and they have been slowly pushing the agenda further and further to the right for decades – and the only way to combat it is by slow incremental change back in the other direction. I know that’s not what progressives want to hear, but I’m afraid that’s just the way it is, and “taking one’s toys and going home” is totally unproductive.

        Maybe the first thing we should be pushing for is mandatory civics education! 🙂

        Anyhow, I totally agree that the society has been brainwashed about the word “socialism.” During the Obamacare fights I remember a photo I saw that just floored me. It was a tea party guy at a rally holding a sign that read: “No Socialized Medicine – and Keep Your Hands Off My Medicare!” Oh, the irony!

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        • Oh I had a mother who set the woe is me, but her attitude didn’t make much of an impression on me because she was the lone voice drowned out by the others I saw.

          Okay I missed the rally sign about medicare and socialized medicine. Some people are so stupid but it’s true we have been fed a socialism is bad rhetoric for so long that many don’t even question the programs in place they benefit from. Then again I still have people who bring up 9/11 and tell me they are glad we hung Saddam Hussein because he attacked us.

          I feel much the same way about Bernie and his dreams. I’m glad he decided to run if for no other reason to start the conversation on these programs but unfortunately he choose a year to run when we have psychos running opposite of him. When Trump first announced he was running I off-handedly said if he won I’d leave the country, then had to amend that with -I would if I didn’t have my kids and grand kids here. I’m not a fan of Hillary, or Bill, with my biggest concern being that Hillary could be indicted and what a mess it would be if she were impeached and had to leave office. After that it’s not knowing what she would do in office. Look at the TPP, she helped to draft the TPP and was all for it but now says she’s against it. Which is it? Yet if the only option is Hillary or Cruz or Trump then yes I would settle for Hillary. I think we are going to be in for a rough four years, hopefully not eight.

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          • I have similar concerns with Clinton and trade policies – and the general idea that things that are good for giant US corporations are good for US citizens. I mean, the whole influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico is at least, in part, due to NAFTA – which allowed US corporations to flood the Mexican market with cheap GMO corn (heavily subsidized by OUR tax dollars) – it totally put Mexican farmers out of work thus destroying the rural economy there. I still can’t quite understand why Bill Clinton supported that – it was basically a Republican thing that he got on board with. Of course now the Republicans get to scream and yell about all of those “horrible Mexicans” and I just think it’s karma – if we hadn’t destroyed their jobs to make more money for ridiculously wealthy corporations, they wouldn’t be coming here in droves. Anyhow, the irony of it all is that Trump is actually against TPP and other similar treaties – which is one of the reasons the Republican establishment is afraid of him. Too bad he’s bat shit crazy, and racist, and on the wrong side of just about everything else!

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          • You know I don’t view Bill Clinton as a true democrat, he held many views and pushed programs that I would expect from Republicans. Do you remember his welfare reform? At the time I received medical for my boys as I was in college. When he got the law changed that you could only collect for two years of your entire life I called my doctor to see what she would charge if I offered to pay in cash and called the welfare office to see how the new law affected my boys. The last thing I wanted was to ruin their chances to get medical if necessary as adults. Fortunately, the reform only affected adults so I was able to continue to receive medical benefits for my boys. Then there’s NAFTA and his elimination of all tariffs which lead to all the outsourcing. As for Hilary, I was stunned when she was asked about Gaddafi. Her “we went, we saw, he’s dead” was one of the worst things I’ve heard a politician say.

            I am very torn on “illegal” immigration. On one hand they are breaking the law and have no repercussions for that, we have to follow the laws or be held accountable. But on the other hand, I know if I was in a position of not being able to support my family I would do anything in my power to do so, including cross the boarder for work. I’ve met some wonderful people who were here illegally and know that if I were in power I could never send them back or break up their families.

            Did you hear Trumps latest remarks on women? That he would punish a woman who had an abortion? That along with everything else….yes, he’s bat-shit crazy.

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          • I totally agree. The Clinton’s are pretty much like moderate Republicans used to be. I’m just not sure where along the line the Democratic party decided that they needed to move to the right, but I think it was a horrible mistake. Well, a mistake for the people anyhow – probably good for politicians and big business. I really hope that Bernie’s success, if nothing else, will help to push the party a bit further back to the left where it should be.

            I hadn’t heard that quote about Qaddafi – Hillary said that? Good God! And I really don’t know what the best solution to the immigration issue is at this point. There are just sooo many contradictions and hypocrisies tied up with the whole deal – giant corporations hiring them under the table for dirt wages to do back breaking work in the agricultural fields – it almost seems like slave labor to me. Of course if they actually had to pay people a living wage for that sort of labor, American consumers would be shocked at how much the cost of their food would go up!

            Maybe I’m just biased, but everywhere I look I just see giant corporations making boatloads of money through the suffering of millions of people. I can’t help but believe that’s the cornerstone of so many of our society’s problems. Sigh.

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          • I agree with you about Bernie. I’m not sure if we are ready to make the changes he proposes, although I would be happy if we did. But I do hold out hope that his run for the presidency will influence others in future elections and show the party that it and the citizens are on two different pages.

            Here’s the interview with Hillary

            And here’s another one for you where she says the best thing that could happen is for the US to be attacked so the people would unite and support more war https://youtu.be/eY0QAiYvZP8?t=1m32s

            Aren’t you glad you don’t have to be the one to make the decision on immigration? I was good friends in high school who went on to become a lawyer and now fights the businesses who knowingly hire the illegals. His view is that if there weren’t jobs for them they wouldn’t be crossing over. I agree with him but I also admit that until we stop acting like certain jobs are beneath us and agree to take any work available there will always be a need for the illegal work force. Farming is a good example and like you said what would our food cost if we paid a living wage. Did you ever see the movie The Day the Mexican’s Left? It was written and produced by Mexicans to show us how much we need them here. Unfortunately, I saw the message they didn’t want us to see. I saw the empty freeways that would take no time to commute to work on and wondered if the roads would need repairs less often as a result or the homeowner who now had to cut his own grass and thought, so what that’s the way it used to be.

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  6. Happy Easter Lois..

    Thank you for your hard work in this blog..- educating, informing, consoling, and sharing your life. It is much appreciated and enjoyed.

    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful Post Lois.. I have no problem at all if someone wanted to put trash in my bin.. In fact on our little cul-de-sac if we have spare room and others have too much we often tell them to put in our bin.. The same with the Brown Bin which holds our garden waste.. We all of us if we see a person is cutting a hedge or trimming back branches we go and tell each other to use each others bins..

    I hope more learn the habit of sharing Lois..
    Happy Easter to you and yours.. Your family are a credit to you xxx Love Sue

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    • Sue, you always bring me good news! I love that you and your neighbors share your bins. I guess when you live closer together, even sharing a roof, it makes sense to build community between neighbors. Maybe that’s a failure of our system here in that we like to be separated from our neighbors in more ways than one.

      I am lucky in that my neighbors allow me to put what trash I have in their can. I have so little waste that I fill a small bag, the size of a plastic bag one brings groceries home in, every couple of weeks. With that small amount it worked out that garbage pickup would cost me $25 per little bag, a huge waste of money.

      Did you have a nice Easter? I hope you were able to spend part of it with family and your precious granddaughter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I had a good Easter Lois thank you.. Walking on the best day weather wise was on Good Friday.. chilling with family the rest of the time. 🙂
        Here our bin collection is in with the Council take we pay around £1,300 per year which also goes towards such costs as the fire service, street cleaning like general rates for the community which everyone has to pay.. The bands width is determined by what area you live in and the size of your property .. Our Brown garden waste bin in paid separate as that is an option for people that is £30 per year..
        Good to know your neighbours allow your little bag in their bins or it would be expensive..

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        • I’m glad you had a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors this weekend even if it wasn’t on Easter itself.

          At first my eyes bugged out at the cost of your garbage collection until I saw all the other fees included. Our costs vary depending on where you live where I live it’s $50 per month but that’s only for our trash nothing else. Our fire services are a donation basis because we have a volunteer fire department but in the cities there are added fees to pay the town for that service. Of course ambulance costs are separate and can run between $1500 and $3000, again depending on your location. There is no brown waste pick up in our state as far as I know. Most of those types of collection are only happening large scale on the west coast.

          Liked by 1 person

          • We are very lucky in the UK dear Lois, especially when you compare it with the USA.. And not forgetting our NHS ( National Health Service ) which we contribure through our earnings in National Insurance stamp duty which goes on what you earn and you pay a percentage which goes to NHS costs We are extremely well looked after when you take all these things into consideration.. So much so people from all over the EU want to come so they too can benefit..

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          • I met a woman when I lived in Arizona who was from the UK who told me when she needed to see a doctor or dentist it was cheaper for her to book a flight back to the UK and even pay for a hotel than to pay for the insurance in the US and all our co-pays. 😦 Many people who live in the US close to the Canadian border will drive to Canada and pay cash for a dental visit for their children rather than pay for dental insurance here as it’s cheaper. Of course some cross the Mexican border as well but they say the quality of work is far below what can be found in the US and Canada. My hope is that one day we will eliminate the insurance companies, or at least drastically reduce their influence and make healthcare sane for us.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like you opened a can of nuts and bolts here, Lois. It took awhile to read even some of the comments. I think you know my take on sharing. I do it freely but with discernment. I will not enable another not to become their fullest self by doing for them what they should do for themselves. A hand up is different than a hand out. I gave away my electric lawn mower yesterday and a seed spreader. I don’t have need of them and though I could advertise and make a couple of bucks, what’s the point? My neighbor can use them. I donate and pass on lots. In the end, I still have to be responsible for my own welfare and not be a burden on others. That will come soon enough and hopefully, I’ve done a good enough job that others will be kind to me when I’m in need. I saw a comment about the election. If Ms. Clinton doesn’t will, I’ll be shocked. She is part of the machine and it’s in charge, not us. This in no way reflects my position on who should win because I don’t think there is anyone running I’d vote for. Sorry if that offends anyone. It’s sad.

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    • I did, didn’t I? 🙂 How well you put that. I couldn’t agree more that we should be willing to give but not if we are preventing the receiver from learning to do for themselves. This week I gave half a box of flooring I didn’t need to my neighbor the value was much less than your lawn mower but it felt good to give it away rather than spend time trying to sell it for what would have amounted to very little money and a bigger headache.

      On the election front, while the conversation did turn there I will admit to you that I won’t be voting. I am tired of giving my vote to the lesser of all known evils. I get a lot of flak over my choice but that’s just how I feel and I’m not going to be swayed until I see a candidate worth my time to voice support to. I do think there is one candidate that shares much of my views but there are too many questions I have to sway me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are on the same page all the way through here. I’ve given up voting many years ago when I realized the machine ran it and our vote no longer have anything to do with the election. I figure giving things away saves me a lot of aggravation. You seem to agree.

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        • Oh I definitely do agree. I can’t tell you the times I had furniture cluttering up my studio when someone from Craigslist or Freecyle didn’t show up and I had to wait on the next person to show.

          I’ve been back and forth on voting. I’ve voted in one primary and two national elections but I’m officially done with national elections. The people running scare the heck out of me this year. I’ll stick with community work and hope to leave my mark there.

          That’s not to say I don’t listen to what’s going on and I think this year the masses will see the real workings of our elections. It may be very interesting to see how they respond.

          Liked by 1 person

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