One of my favorite ways to practice my own simplicity is to give to others. It makes me feel peaceful, and like I am making a difference in someone's day. By reaching out to friends and neighbors, I am able to model the behavior of slowing down and appreciating the blessings around you. I know that my community is a blessing, and it is important to connect to that community. Eventually, friendly relationships with those around me is going to come in handy.
So I have been sharing some of my handmade things with people. I do this first to be nice, but also to open the door to teaching them how easy it is to learn skills that will come in handy, save money, and sustain their families. Perhaps this makes me a guerrilla homesteader. In the last couple of weeks, I have given away three bottles of homemade laundry detergent, 4 bars of homemade soap, and two loaves of homemade bread. A friend and I have been working on the art of making recycled paper, soap and lotion. Another friend is already preparing to make her own laundry soap after trying mine. And soon, I will be teaching another friend how to sew.
I know that they think that I might be a bit kooky, but so far gifts have been accepted, and interest has been shown. It is my hope that these folks will get the self-sufficiency bug and may pass on some of what they know on to others. It is my strong belief that we will be a stronger community when people are growing food, learning basic skills and talking to their neighbors.
Come spring, I'll be handing out tomato and cucumber plants in containers so that even my neighbors with the brownest thumbs can grow something good to eat.