Wednesday, 27 January 2016
In praise of Generosity
I have been searching for some additional kitchen units for the house. Ideally I'd like some to create an island unit in the centre of our kitchen to replace the plastic tubs I have under the pine table that currently store most of the cooking utensils like large pans, mixing bowls and plastic containers that I save to reuse when freezing meals. This would allow us to use the table as our dining table again, which would be great because we are currently using a fold-up camping style plastic table (tres glamorous!). There is another area in the kitchen that I would like to add a few more base units to store some of my larger cooking utensils and equipment, Additionally we'd like to have some storage cupboards in the boot room, and we've both commented that a sink in the boot room would be ideal for us to wash our muddy hands before we come into the house. So that's the wish list and our 'in an ideal world' thoughts.
I am an avid user of recycling sites like Gumtree, our local wood recycling project and charity shops. Using these facilities just makes sense to me, I am getting something I want, I'm saving money, and the seller is disposing of their unwanted items and making some cash in the process, win-win! And of course it is better for the environment for us not to keep creating more and more but to use what is already made. I try to shop as locally as I can, and that applies to recycling too. There's less sense in trying to do one's bit by recycling if we are then using masses of transportation miles.
Mr J and I have looked at the price of new units for the kitchen and decided that we really can't afford to buy new ones, so I have been searching the recycling sites for suitable units and have learnt that they get snapped up really quickly. Every time I contact someone to say we are interested, the units have already been allocated to other folks. Anyway, late afternoon yesterday I received a message to say that one of the advertisers had been let down by someone and that her kitchen units were still available if we want them.
Well yes please! We spoke on the telephone and she also sent me some photographs of the units that are available and they are perfect for what we have in mind. She then went on to offer me a sink unit complete with butler's sink. If I could do a cartwheel I would do many of them in celebration of her generosity.
And the price of these units is simply the cost of going to collect them. She lives less than ten miles away, albeit on the other side of the Severn Bridge but still very close. So including the bridge toll, I think it will cost us about £10 per journey to collect them. We should be able to fit a couple of units into the car per trip. I am delighted.
I think that the great thing about generosity is that it has hidden benefits. When we are generous towards other people we get a feel good moment for ourselves and who doesn't like to feel good? When we are generous with our time, love, care, or as in this case with unwanted items, we can re-affirm our belonging to a community (that could be a community of a couple, family, school or wider community) and the feeling of belonging helps to make us feel secure. Giving to others can help to build stronger links, create new friendships, meet other's wants and needs and support the local and wider community. The list of benefits of being generous goes on and on.