This morning I was out walking when I came across a man wiping down the large green box that controls the traffic lights at our local school crossing.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he was cleaning off the graffiti and that he does it quite regularly. The selflessness of it got me thinking about people who just do or share things because it makes everyone’s lives better. Immediately Frank Mitchell, who works at CERES came to mind.  Frank periodically sends out an email sharing what new birds he’s seen around CERES (he’s currently looking for a crested shrike-tit like the one in the pic above). Frank’s not paid to do it he just feels compelled to share and it makes all our lives richer – everybody loves it.  A recent Frank email read:
I’ve added a few birds to the CERES bird-list which is now totalling 45.The new birds in the list are:
no 14    Masked lapwing
no 16    Galah
no  19   Red-rumped parrot
no  38   Black-faced cuckoo-shrike.

Maybe nature leads by example and inspires us to do these things for nothing because it seems we’re often generous with natural things; people volunteer time to plant trees, clean up their creeks and beaches, run soup kitchens, produce swaps, put out baskets of lemons at front gates.
For years at Fair Food we’ve been talking about how great it would be to cook a big staff meal from the leftover veg we have. Everybody loves the idea but it always seemed too hard, something we couldn’t afford or had no time to do.  Then the other day it came up again and Kate who runs customer service and was a chef in a former life said, I could knock up a meal like that and put it in a slow cooker in about 15 minutes.  

There was a collective, Really?
And then Kate said, Yeah really.A couple of days later two unused slow cookers (are all slow cookers unused?)  appeared at the warehouse.  Kate chopped up the leftover veg and put it in the slow cooker.  The next day at lunchtime we all ate slow cooked spicy vegetables on rice.  In the end it took so little effort but to the Fair Food crew who had been working since 6.30am sitting down together for a cooked lunch meant so much.

And that’s the thing I realise now about most acts of generosity; the basket of free lemons at someone’s front gate takes so little effort but makes all the difference to how we feel about our neighbourhood, about our lives.

Have a great week
Chris 

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