Friends with Benefits – 5 benefits of sharing with friends

Sharing with strangers is a noble concept, but it’s not a new one. Many religious and ethnic places such as Buddhist and Sikh temples do so, however, on a more personal scale, what about sharing with friends?

friendship and sisterhood

credit: Museum of Public Art

Sharing with friends, while not a totally new or different concept, can help you in many ways that sharing with strangers do not. While sharing is great in both forms, sharing with friends tends to be more intimate, and also helps to strengthen the bonds of friendship. Let’s take a look at the hows, and whys shall we?

1. Sharing creates common goals

When you share things, you not only share physical items. In the process of sharing, you understand that sharing is not just the lending of an item based off trust to your friend. It is also a philosophy, and a way of life that you are participating in.

Both of you understand that sharing is about trust, and about conservation of the limited resources that we have, as well as the practical side of cost sharing and saving on items you and your friend have and share.

2. Sharing creates trust among friends

Friendship is a strange creature, yet it is a vital one in our society. Most forms of lifelong bonds are formed on the basis of friendship. Husbands, wives, and lovers all start out as friends. Even parents are encouraged to be a friend to their children.

Why? Simply because there is a certain form of trust among friends – one that says “I will not harm you, we are in this for mutual goodwill”. Simply put, that is at its essence, that the other person means well, and is, and can be a likeable person in your social circle.

Sharing of course, needs to take place when there is trust. When you share, mutual trust increases, as sharing itself is a a self-propagating mechanism for trust, which acts as a social lubricant in your friendship.

3. Sharing helps you learn more about your friend

Simply put, why does your friend have a wood planer tool? You’ll find out that maybe she was into woodworking while working on her masters, or maybe that her beautiful chestnut and oak table was handcrafted by her?

Perhaps she was part of a recreated Viking expedition, and the wood planer was used in the construction of a longship? Or maybe her father or uncle was a woodworker, and she inherited the tool from them? Perhaps an old ex left it behind?

You never know, since objects each have their own history, and people share them to make the next part in their story.

Now, it can be your turn to add on to its rich and storied history, and to tell it to the next person you share it to.

After all, some antiques gain their value from their historicity, which basically means, where they’ve been and what they’ve been used for.

4. Sharing helps you to learn skills and knowledge from your friend

So maybe your friend has a wood planer, and she did go on the recreated Viking expedition across the Atlantic, and after that she chose to settle down next to you, and she brought it along as a memento.

Then, she started learning how to use it to make furniture, and that’s how you eventually met her, while she was planing her table in the yard. Now, wouldn’t it make for a good experience if she taught you how to safely use the wood planer?

Put in a few hours with that wood planer in her yard, as well as a few other tools, and reciprocate with perhaps a session of jam making and tea in the future, and the both of you can learn how to have jam, on nicely crafted tables together!

A few hours of hard work and fun learning a new skill with your friend is a great way to bond as well as find out more about someone, yes?

5. Sharing lowers costs and opens the way for more shared activities together

Of course, not having to buy brand new equipment and hire a trainer definitely improves the cost of activities. After you and your friends have had a great time hanging out learning from each other’s experiences as well as skills you can embark on shared projects together!

After all, people used to live in smaller communities, and now our communities are made up of our own social circles. Our own social circles are no longer constrained by boundaries such as location or geography, with the advent of the internet and other forms of advanced communications.

The key idea here however, is to get together with a bunch of friends who have varied skills and interests, and embark on a project where they can share not only their tools, but also their skills and experiences, teaching each other and coming to a common understanding and shared goal. That’s how you bond friends with sharing!

We hope you’ve found this article useful, now go out and share with your friends! There’s an app for that: Lendogram 😉

How to Start a Sharing Movement

When we look at the way society functions in modern times, we seem to forget that amongst the teeming masses of humanity are made up of individuals.

Individuals of a Society

The thoughts and beliefs, as well as the actions of individuals in this mass of humanity we call society shape the future, the reality of our existence as we know it.

It is then imperative that we understand our own power as an individual. Power is simply the ability to do, to change, or to affect change in a situation, in reality.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”
— Gandhi

The fact that we can affect change in our society and as an individual, we must also carry out the obligation that we have to share.

To share, and create social value is a very natural human phenomenon, albeit not restricted to Homo Sapiens alone. To share and to consciously understand and create sharing movements, and values, as well as social value is however, a uniquely human concept.

Sharing is not limited to advertisements on billboards, nor is it, or should it be limited to thirty second jingle tunes on the radio, accompanied on tv by a short clip.

The Sharing Movement is not about the promotion of goods, services, or values for the purpose of collecting a profit. It is a wider social movement to promote a cultural and very human need to be socially connected, through the act of sharing.

The origin of the Sharing Movement is from a cultural and human need to socially connect.

The sharing movement itself does not start, nor does it end with the physical act of sharing either – it starts with a mindset within us, as well as the understanding of what we are doing, and why.

Some people share because they feel great doing it, since altruistic acts in human behaviour actually help to propagate the altruist’s genes in the race for survival in the natural selection process. In certain cultures, sharing is seen as both a form of wealth redistribution, as well as promotion of the largesse of the patron who shares his wealth with others, hence their ability to share material goods.

But looking beyond just personal feelings as well as creating social value for ourself, sharing is about connecting people in an egalitarian manner. This is not about the promotion of our largesse, or the promotion of other’s largesse, but about us, and another person forming a connection through the need for a physical item. This connection can be formed only in the most personal of settings, as it requires trust as a currency, and trusting people is the first step to a closer community of friends, neighbours, and family.

These connections cannot be forced upon people, coerced onto people, nor can they be really effective, since being friendly, and being friendly and trusting are two different things altogether.

How we can truly see this is through ad campaigns for a friendlier neighbourhood, which rarely work. What does work however, are events where social value is created and trust slowly but surely formed amongst community members.

Sometimes, these events are initiated by the local council, made up of more outgoing members of the community, and other times, the local government(rarely).

Most of the time, these kinds of events, such as barbeque cook-outs, communal celebrations and observations of religious, cultural, or ethnic festivals open to everyone in the community are usually started by people in the community.

These are simple, yet effective tools to open up people to the idea of a sharing community that is there for every member to utilise and support.

Barbeques, celebrations and gatherings aren’t too hard to organize for someone of average means are they? yet they are the ties that bind, that hold a sharing community together.

youYet, all these need not be started by companies. Nor governments. These can be started by you.

The people you come with into contact daily, as well as the people you talk to, can be part of the sharing movement, but you have to speak out, and more than just talk about what being part of the sharing movement means, to also act on it.

Share when you can, with the people you can

If everyone did their part, and practiced sharing in their own corner of the world, soon, communities of people accustomed to sharing naturally and consciously will form.

And then, growth of the sharing mindset will increase exponentially, since ideas spread like wildfire.

Ideas are powerful, and so are actions. Alone, you cannot reach the moon, but with friends, neighbours, and other people who share, connecting groups of people will become easier, and more viable, not just economically, but physically as well as socially.