Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I believe in karma. I know that all the energy I put out into the universe is reflected back on me and that means the more good I do, the more good I get. I have a great generosity of spirit. Really, I know that sounds like bullshit, but I like to do nice things for other people. I do not however strive to MAKE people happy, but that is a different session on the couch. As I was saying, I have a generous spirit, but I am also extremely selfish with my time. I have always found volunteering hard to fit into my life. I don't have the motivation to create an unpaid scheduled event in my life. I don't even like having a paid job. I've tried volunteering and I always end up disappointing people. I have always given to charity, but we rarely have any money, so it doesn't feel like it makes much of a difference. Taking things to the Goodwill is wholly unsatisfying, especially if the attendant acts as if you've just brought him a steaming pile of dogshit. Also, the mark up at thrift stores really benefits the charity, not the people who are looking for used goods. Psst, just a little clue for you -- Goodwill and The Salvation Army end up throwing away stuff that won't sell,unless they can foist it upon yet another charitable organization. Don't think that you are saving that 50 year collection of National Geographics from the landfill, just because you donated it to your favorite thrift store. At some point, every piece of junk takes it's place in the garbage heap, unless someone actually wants it. This has always been the problem with stuff. Stuff is actually junk, until someone covets it and then it is worth 500% of it's original value on eBay. There are only so many forgotten "treasures" that people are willing to pay for, so what do we do with the rest of it? After you have schlepped your unwanteds to Once Upon a Child, Play-it-Again Sports and Half-Price Books, what do you do with what they deem unsellable? Give it away? No, you jest? When I discovered Freecycle, I immediately had dreams of finding marvelous free stuff just waiting for me to pick up. Freecycle is a community of like minded folks who would prefer to keep their junk out of the landfill, you know to protect our earth's precious resources. The reality is, is a local network of people either desperately looking for the things that might make their life just a bit more comfortable or people who are desperately trying to get some junk out of their lives before it consumes all of their living space. It is the most perfect symbiotic relationship. Of course, there are those people who post Wanted messages for things like xBox 360s and cell phones of a specific color and brand, but those people never get what they are after and quickly move on. I am addicted to Freecycle and I have only received ONE freebie in six months of participating. The freebie I did get was so fantastically generous (from my perspective) that I couldn't wait to pay it forward. So now, instead of hording a pile of clothes and what-not for a future trip to the ungrateful Goodwill, I cut out the middle man and hand my goods directly to someone who will be ecstatic to get them. I get the added benefit of never needing to haul stuff to a donation site. The process is an incredibly powerful reminder of how fortunate I am. I know, cue the sappy music, but when I release my daughter's second hand clothes to a mother of 12, who actually has a naked child at home waiting for new pants; I feel wealthy indeed. You know an item has much more value in use than it does in resale (consider what happens when your 1986 Cavalier gets totalled and they hand you a check for a $100 to replace it), so keep the ball in play. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin