What's the "free pile"?
I live in a really nifty eight floor apartment building in lower Queen Anne. Nice neighborhood too! In the main garage connected to the building we have recycling and garbage dumpsters. Also, we have created a free pile, located between two of the parking spots. This area has been designated as such since before I moved into the building. I have lived there for a year and a half. So, people who have items that are still in good shape and usage will often bring these items down with their garbage and put them in the free pile. Throughout the weeks the items come and go. Free pile items range from shoes, books, clothes, furniture, slates of wood or marble, bed, frames, car stuff, pet items, frames, electronics, etc; you get the idea.
What's "free" mean?
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online) free has over a dozen different meanings. These range from political to scientific to standard meanings. The ones below seem to fit what I am dicussing.
2.c.: made, done, or given voluntarily or spontaneously.
4.a: having no trade restrictions.
Free to many often means it requires no monitary exhange, or nothing in exchange. Most often Free can be tangible and intangible. Tangible free are the items you recieve like the items found in the free pile or that are inherited. Examples of intangible free things are your smile, your time, effort, and caring. Words are powerful things if used the right way; mind you yes, they can be powerful when used wrong as well. But thats not to be dwelled on now.
So my recent ephiphany is spawning from the free pile, and how much I give as a person. This blog is not to brag about what I found in the free pile or was given to me. Thats not the point. The point is to show people that when you give some you recieve some in a very similar way. You just have to open your mind and eyes to realizing it's correlation between giving and recieving.
I have chosen to be nicer, smile at people, help out in ways that I am capable. This is a simple process. You walk down the street, don't stare at the ground, smile at the person passing you, comment on their dog, or say "Hello". I know personally, I feel better when I am acknowledged by people, even more so if they compliment my dog or my purse, etc. Big factor: it has to be genuine! Don't search for an aimless compliment if you don't have a genuine one to give.
The second thing I started doing is helping people on the bus when they're looking for a stop or a location. If they are sitting in ear shot I will help them, sometimes even pull the chord for them. If a person is getting off at the same stop as me I offer to point them in the right direction. I have done this for elderly people and visitors.
Another huge one to do while on the bus or waiting for the bus is offer your seat to someone who seems like they would benefit from the seat. (This is a personal pet peeve of mine.) I will often intentionally sit up in the front of the bus when it appears busy so I can offer my seat to an elderly person, or a parent with a small child. I cannot count how many times I have been riding a busy bus full of kids and young adults my age, someone who could benefit from sitting climbs on the bus, scans the bus for a spot, and no one gets up. It's not right.
*In another post I will touch base on the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is an invisible to most autoimmune disease. So, even on days where I am flared up and in pain I know it's easier for me to stand than others and I'm willing to endure it for someone else's comfort.
I had elderly lady (this has happened a few times) offer to give me money or pay my fare for giving her my seat. I always decline the offer. However, this shows me that she might have been forced to stand when she shouldn't have had to. I offered my seat to a woman a couple months ago. The bus was packed, and the driver shouted back for someone to give this woman a seat. I stood up, ended up chatting with the women. She was very appreciative of the gesture. After she got off the bus, the young lady sitting next to me told me I deserve a "gold star" and that I was very approachable.
Doing things to help others, even just making them smile not only makes them feel good or brighten their day but it makes you feel better. My mother, bless her soul, used to tell me when I ws having a bad day to do something to make someone else smile. That this will help me feel better. As a teenager I was angst and would sluff it off at times. Now as an adult I strive to do it when I recognize that's where my mental state is at.
*In the next post I will talk about my mother, who I love dearly. She passed away July 2010.
Golden Rule #1: Treat people the way you want to be treated.
do something genuine that will
potentionally change a person's day
around towards the positive.
That is my challange to you, as a reader.