One of the reasons the triangle has become such a hub for creative collaboration and intellectual conversations is that the people here just seem to be more...open than other places. It's so common to witness the I/Me/Mine mentality that drives attitudes of consumption and keeps us from connecting with each other. I/Me/Mine keeps us from thriving.
The interesting thing about this self-serving mentality is that it comes from a place of fear -- fear that there isn't enough of whatever it is you need. It could be a fear of not having enough food, money, love, opportunity, or any number of other things. What's sad is that in the process of trying to protect ourselves from scarcity we miss out on the abundance community connections have to offer.
When I lived in Asheville, there were so many opportunities for skill-shares and work-studies, pot lucks and 'reduced' cost food nights at restaurants, and places where people met to barter and trade, and one of my hopes when moving to the triangle was that I would find some of the same things here. Why? Because people are so much happier when they're sharing.
The best advice I ever received was this:
"The best give you can give a person is asking for their help. It keeps you humble, recognizes and honors a skill or thing they have to offer, and inherently creates an opening for them to ask something of you in the future, if they ever find themselves in need."
I remembered this when, after moving to town, I realized I wanted to improve my yoga practice but couldn't afford the classes I needed in order to deepen my knowledge, so I swallowed my pride and reached out to Carrboro Yoga Company about a work-study. That was over two years ago and although my role has changed throughout that time, I still maintain a work-study relationship with them -- one that has led, in the most delightful ways, to so much more than an improved practice.
Through CYCO, I've connected with unexpected people, learned a lot of important information about myself, and experienced an abundance of unconditional support, all because I was willing to ask and connect.
When we connect and share with others in our community, we are able to give some of the things we have enough of, and receive the things we need more of. Sharing resources means that, collectively, we reduce waste, and that's what sustainability is all about. It's proven that things just require fewer resources (time, money, energy, goods, services) when we pool.
So, next time you need something, just ask. You might not get exactly what you want, but you're sure to get exactly what you need.
In love and sharing,