Sharing: Building a Sense of Community

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Caring; Kindness to Strangers and Paying-It-Forward

The world can be a scary place sometimes, with the stories of evil we hear daily, and how each one seems to be much worse than the one before. It would seem that there is no limit to the malicious nature of man. Despite all this, there is good to be found in the world in abundant measure.

A good realtor would tell you; “There is no such thing as a bad house, it’s a fixer-upper,” “There are no bad neighborhoods, only upcoming neighborhoods.” This relentless focus on the good aspects of a property is an approach we must incorporate into the way we see the world around us. Yes, terrible things are happening around us, but there is also a lot of good going around. Life is a fixer-upper in an upcoming neighborhood, and this “realtor” is telling you, it’s not all it could be right now, but you can make it beautiful.

Somewhere in St. Petersburg, Fla., a woman started an astounding trend which is pretty rare in this day and age. This woman, while waiting on a particularly long queue at a Starbucks, paid for her iced coffee and the caramel macchiato a customer behind her ordered. Simple enough right? Well, the person behind her accepted the free drink and promptly paid for the order of the person behind him. This trend would continue for the subsequent 378 customers to join that queue, ending at about 6pm when the 379th person opted out of paying for the next one. All from that first random act of kindness.

In contrast, an experiment was conducted with a group of monkeys and a bunch of bananas. A group of monkeys were placed in a room, with a bunch of bananas hanging on a string from the ceiling. A step ladder stood directly beneath it, and one monkey promptly scampered up to reach the bananas. All the monkeys were immediately doused with freezing water. After a few more tries with the same result, they reached a unanimous decision; do not climb the ladder.

Then one member of the group was replaced by a new monkey who immediately tried to get to the bananas, only to be stopped by the others and beaten mercilessly. He gets the message and proceeds to join in the melee when a new monkey joins the group and decides to have a go at the loot.

This trend continues until the members of the original group have all been replaced, which means the monkeys present in the room have never felt the freezing water. Yet they still maul any new recruit who tries to climb the ladder, even though they are totally ignorant of the reason for doing so.

The question now is: what are we doing to affect our environment? Without a doubt, the story of the 378 customers must have inspired a series of reprises, centered around capturing and further spreading that feeling of love and connectedness.  What trend are we setting? What impact are we leaving behind when we walk out of a room? Are we inspiring abuse and oppression, or are we promoting sharing and kindness to strangers? What lessons are people learning from our actions? When was the last time you helped out a total stranger?

What trend are we setting? What impact are we leaving behind when we walk out of a room? Are we inspiring abuse and oppression, or are we promoting sharing and kindness to strangers? What lessons are people learning from our… Click To Tweet

If you are not satisfied with your answers to these questions, like I am, then I suggest you try to remedy that, post-haste. The nature of man is the way of man. Is it in your nature to help? If it isn’t, this is as good a time as any to start.

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