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Sharing for Most Utilization

The more people who use my stuff, the more used and efficient that stuff becomes.

When I had an apartment in NYC at which I was seldom staying (I was in Beijing often), I told my friends “look, use the place, clean up after, and you must take 24 colour digital photos to show me the fun my apartment is having without me”.  The whole idea is that while I’m out of town, I am getting no use from my place, so why can’t my friends enjoy it?  Besides, strange things (pests, snakes, birds, alligators) move into quiet places, but a well-used apartment gets leaks detected, holes fixed, and enough noise to keep oddness at-bay.  Some friends started calling it “their place” (Hi Rose, Ruth, miss youze) which made me really quite pleased.  My goal was fulfilled even if the 24 photos didn’t always (ever) show up.

My friend’s cousin came by to visit when he was at a customer’s site.  His cousin got a cheap place to stay, made it easier to see the city, and he had an extra guest for dinner.  The world is more fun to see as a group, and cheaper when you can share costs.  This resource — the room — was better-utilized by two.

The “right” or “correct” feeling of reusing something, it’s hard to explain if you don’t feel it.

I used to leave my car keys in easy reach for the people around me.  When I was younger, it was my brother; later, it was housemates, girlfriends, whatever.  A car is very personal to some, but to me, it’s a machine to be well-used (so long as the driver understands the peculiarities of that machine).  My brother scares me a little about the speeds and things he’s done to my car, but it did get more usage, if “rented” or “borrowed” much longer than bargained.

“No, Rick, I didn’t know that my car does 105 mph (169 Km/h) on the Pulaski Skyway (limit: 45 mph), good to hear”

Surprises aside, the most usage we can get from the devices we have, the more efficient that purchase.  I also prefer to pass on my stuff rather than sell, for the recipient might truly want or need that item, but might not have the finances on that day to repay the cost.  Salvage is always half, but the value of friendship and cooperation, and the “right” feeling of sharing and re-use, outweighs lost salvage in laterally-passing an item as gift.

Often, gifts come back when you need them.

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