The Gift List
Our modern, money-focused society is driving us towards ever increasing levels of consumption. Even with a struggling global economy and with a general concern for the climate, every year Christmas sales are reaching new heights. We're a society conditioned to consume to such a level, that whatever concerns we have for the global inequality system, we still go out and shop endlessly. However there is a light in the darkness, more and more people are showing that humans are much better at - and get a lot of satisfaction from - giving, than they are at taking.
A new culture is emerging in which people once again start to value the virtues of sharing and cooperation. More and more people recognise that happiness and fulfillment don’t only come from having, but at least as much from giving and sharing. Instead of feeling smug about the fact that their car is fancier than their neighbours’, people actually yearn to connect with their fellow human beings on so many levels and in so many different spaces. In many places, flea markets, swapping days and community sharing initiatives are flourishing, exploring the transformational effect it can have on us when we change our relationship to our 'stuff'.
In this activity we’ll explore our relationship with our stuff and try to move from 'having', to 'sharing' and 'giving'.
Individual / Experiential
Less than one 1h
Create opportunities to exchange and reconnect with your community
To learn how to engage in a culture of sharing
Write a list of all the things that you own, but stay within reasonable limits and don’t count your socks or broken pencils.
Ponder on the question of how necessary all these things really are. Which things are really important to you and which are not?
Create a gift list. Write down all the things that you would like to give away.
You have to give away at least 2 items from your list! More is better. Find a way to give them away. Who would need them? Your friends, your neighbours, the homeless person on the street?
Check out the webpage of StreetBank and register.
Use social media to let people know what it is that you want to give away.
Find local sharing platforms.
What else comes to your mind?
Present the idea of sharing via the StreetBank and invite your friends, neighbours and local community to join in.
Think if you also have skills that you would like to offer or exchange. Do you know how to fix bicycles or how to change light bulbs?
When you’re done, check what others have shared in your neighbourhood. Is there anything there that you need or could help with?
How did you feel after writing the list of all the things you own and do not need? Were you surprised that the list was that big/small?
Did you experience any difficulties giving away things that you do not need?
How does it make you feel that someone is offering something to you without expecting anything in return?
Will you continue sharing and giving things away in the future? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Does the StreetBank have a potential to work in your local community? If not, what could be the alternative online platforms?
Instructions for Submission
Take a picture of the things that you decided to share or give away and upload it in Moodle. Submit a short text, explaining why you decided to do that and how it made you feel. Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading
Instructions for Assessment
Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback
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