As I was packing up and before I left my parents' house this evening, I decided to do once more something no one really does in our neighborhood - I would pick dozens of sweet grapefruits from our backyard and encourage folks walking by to take as much or little as they fancy.
The concept isn't new to me. The @foodisfree project is one that I've followed and admired for years. It's one of thousands of wonderful ideas, if done and implemented at a widespread level, would and could move us to a real sharing economy, and as Shareable calls it - "sharing cities." That's the type of future I want to live and take part in.
But where my parents live in suburbia Los Angeles ain't like parts of Portland, Berlin, Amsterdam, Seattle, or even the various small towns and rural communities I'd been a part of where neighbors know one another, spend time in their front pouches/yards, openly share resources and support one another, etc. No, this is one where there's not even a dedicated sidewalk, one where ornamental and non-native grasses dominate the manicured landscape, where the sounds of internal combustion engines from vehicles and mowers along with water-wasting sprinklers are the main sources of sounds throughout any day.
This is the unsustainable American dream that so many people have bought into without realizing the disconnection it has brought forth from natural cycles and one another.
The concept of food being free and the fair share of abundance (e.g. food) with everyone can be viewed as a socialist nightmare for many in the US. But I don't see it that way. I see possibilities where others see a pipe dream. I see the hungry and homeless having sustenance and shelter by the dissolving of greed and scarcity. I see these possibilities becoming a norm where we regenerate ourselves, each other, and our earth instead of extracting it as if it contains infinite resources. I see little acts like this - the simple sharing of fruits - a rebellion against a system so ingrained, so utterly off-sync with our true natural selves of compassion and empathy, that perhaps that is all it would take for someone to wake up from their trance. I'm ready to meet you there. 🙌🏽