Ummm. . . though I love the idea of this new San Francisco “yerdle” community, it seems to me that this spreading meme, the idea of actually sharing and cooperating rather than having and hoarding, can be implemented without Facebook, and without shipping stuff from one place to another. How? By doing what, strangely enough, in our centrifugal society, seems to be the most difficult thing of all: be, and do, here, and now.
Focus on our neighborhoods, and others close by.
One woman in my neighborhood needs a car with good gas mileage once in a while to do courier work from one neighboring town to another. I offered her mine. She will do a bit more landscaping for me in exchange. That kind of thing! She doesn’t need a car like my Prius — usually. But sometimes she does! And I always need yard work. Like that! The young permie in my home lives rent-free. He’s in charge of the (next door) Green Acres Neighborhood Garden, helps me with tech problems, and cares for the animals when I’m away. Like that.
Yesterday, and the evening before, I helped two women to view their current lives through the lens of astrology. Last winter one of these women brought me two gorgeous quarts of homemade soup when I was sick . . . Like that!
On and on. just help each other. Share with each other. The more we reduce our use of money, the better. For even though we may have invented money to help us exchange goods and services, it’s long lost that function and now resembles a dead god that we continue to worship. On this subject, check out this great youtube video by the author of The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist.
Our little gift circle hasn’t met for quite awhile, but the idea of gifting still circulates, gains steam as we re-member who we really are, and why we are here.
Okay, let me give it to you, in steps. (I’m making this up as I go . . .)
• First, strip off the conditioning — to be competitive and believe in scarcity.
• Second, look within, and bless what you find there, whatever it is — all the amazing complexities and contradictions and stories you’ve told yourself about your past, over and over again, ad nauseam.
• Third, yes, even bless the chronic fear that has contracted your body/mind/soul and left you toxic, in grief.
• Fourth, Let that go. All the stories, all the fear, all the toxicity and grief! Just release! It’s so over NOW!
• Fifth, allow the Love that fills and fuels the universe to course through you, for it will. Nature does abhor a vacuum.
• And finally, sixth, reach out, express yourself, your own unique nature! That magnificence! Share the bounty, all that moves forth from within you, now that you’ve made the momentous discovery of who you really are, an ever-renewing fountain of love.
P.S. I know, I know, it isn’t easy. It’s downright difficult. If you are like me, you will have to slow down, and really dig to find all the buried stories, really breathe deeply in order to allow yourself to accept and bless all the feelings that attend them, really trust the universe to let all the stories and all the feelings go. . .
Indeed, if you are like me, you will have to repeat steps one through four over and over again — allow and let go, allow and let go, allow and let go! The more you do this, the more you honor and bless and feel grateful for all that you think you have ever been and, in almost the same motion, let it all go, the more miraculous, synchronous, like pure flowing water, become steps five and six. Each iteration of the cycle moves easier and feels lighter.
Sharing is, obviously, the hidden-in-plain-sight key to global abundance.
January 7, 2013
by David Wilder
A new sharing community named yerdle was launched in San Francisco that will attempt to make the retail industry more environmentally friendly by connecting unused goods with people who can use them.
The company’s FAQ section of its website explains that the word yerdle, which is both a proper noun and verb, means “to get the things you need from your friends.”
This article on SFGate covers how yerdle functions and features experiences from people who have used the service as well as comments from the founders of the company.
The co-founder of yerdle and former Sierra Club President Adam Werbach believes that retailers should be “looking at ways not to just sell more things.”
“In San Francisco, we’re struggling with getting the last 20 percent out of the waste stream and a lot of this comes from new products you buy and the packaging. If you can borrow that chain saw from the person next door, the retailer’s job is to help you with what you’re trying to do, not just sell you another chain saw.”
This line of thinking may seem counterintuitive to the heads of successful retail chains, but Werbach and yerdle co-founder Andy Ruben, a former Walmart executive, believes company mottos like “sharing is more fun than shopping” and “why shop when you can share?” make perfect business sense.
“Many of the things that we need right now that we’re out buying are in our neighbor’s closets and garages,” Ruben said. “That’s a concept that intrigues us.”
Yerdle launched its website and mobile app to Bay Area residents after three months of testing that involved a group of about 1,500 users. Once members are authenticated through Facebook they have access to give or receive goods within their social networks of friends and friends of friends.
“There’s a set of items that are either occasionally used or used intensely for a short period of time – baby clothes, shin guards, camping tents, kitchen pasta makers, ice cream makers – that your friends probably have and aren’t using,” Werbach said. “Our goal is to make it as easy to get something from your friend as it is to buy something new.”
The company does not charge for each sharing transaction, although the recipient might pay a small fee for shipping, depending on how the item is delivered. Some goods may be dropped off at yerdle’s 14th Street offices for free pickup, and the company is working with couriers to develop low-cost local delivery and pre-paid mailers to send items to faraway lands.
“We’re not manufacturing anything,” Werbach said. “We’re just using things that are already manufactured.” It seems to make inherent sense to put our possessions to use, even if that means allowing someone else to do the using. Reducing the amount of unnecessary sales of items has an added benefit of eliminating waste, which has a positive impact on the health of our world. One of the things that all of us share together is our planet, and services like yerdle may eventually play an important role in providing us all a better place to live.
Image by bengrey, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.