David Dodd 2:53 a.m., May 21
“Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.”~Cicero.
There is a wonderful event happening every Thursday evening in Vista at Aztec Brewery. Besides the award winning craft beer made on premises, they feed the local village, without charge, and without any tip jar. “We want to share our good fortune with the community,” owner Claudia Webster stated. Admirable, considering there is enough of everything for everybody on this planet- we simply mismanage it. Sharing what we consume is catching on. The open source movement and peer to peer file sharing has been occurring on the internet for many years. This technology is advancing the premise of not hoarding nor wasting, but sharing our goods, much to benefit of everyone, and not just a select few.
All the stuff we have, the books and CD's we no longer read or listen to, the garage full of tools that we don't use anymore, we have to ask our selves this question, do we need it all? Stuff collecting dust is not helping anyone. The sharing of books and songs have been done since recorded history, but now we have the Internet, and although the monopolies that control the market protest constantly, this is a natural and growing trend. Why not share something which we have bought outright, with our neighbors? This is not just a great way to recycle, but it also creates more awareness of said items, and if the general consensus is favorable, then the product will sell more, creating free advertising. We are already sharing our pictures and videos via social networks, and we will continue this trend into our tangible local world as well as the viral.
Sharing what we consume goes back to the dawn of civilization, we had to do it in order to survive as a group. Only in this last century we have become more selfish, more wasteful, not because we wanted to, but because we have been trained as such, we've forgotten that we belong to each other. We are no longer a small village but now a global one. Ancient trading and business models such as bartering are making a comeback with countless websites now promoting working with each other instead of against. Member sharing of commodities such as housing or cars are now prevalent. We are entering a new phase of collaborative consumption rather than wastefulness.
Co-operatives have also been around many thousands of years and are recently making a resurgence. Even in the beer industry tied houses have been enjoying this business model for many years, especially in Europe, where the local brewery provides beer only to the local pubs who support and promote them, it doesn’t make fiscal nor ecological sense to distribute any farther. This sensible, greed free way of practicing business provides breweries in other towns the ability to sustain their market also. In the overall picture, the fuel costs and the time and energy wasted just to make a presence across the country or world in order to sell a few paltry units, does not help our immediate and global village whatsoever.
What goes around, comes around, and this is proved at Aztec brewery, which is doing brisk and bustling business while patrons enjoy the complimentary spread of delicious food. In fact, it's like this every Thursday, and customers are returning the favor with more beer sales and word of mouth to other town folk. The age of consumerism and wastefulness is rapidly coming to an end, and we must emulate companies who share and collaborate for the sake of our communities. It is impossible to eat or drink it all. One of the virtues mentioned in ancient Sanskrit is, “Vand ke Shakna”,translated, it means 'share what we consume'. This is not only a good habit for our own sustainability, but for our future generations to come.~Timothy Clacton