THE WALL STREET JOURNAL calls it the "Sharing Economy." Actually that's been how we have been operating in senior complexes for years. That is, we share what we have too much of, what we no longer need, or maybe what someone else needs and we could live without.
In today's THE WALL STREET JOURNAL there is an article describing how mainstream Americans are opening themselves, their homes, and their passions to outsiders - for a fee. For example, one woman who can make a mean mac & cheese in different flavors advertises that on the Internet, inviting folks for dinner at about $20 a pop. Everyone gains. She earns income for what she's good at. The paying guests don't have to make dinner and dine out for an affordable fee. The experience is totally social and new friends can be made.
The web and mobile make that possible and the iffy economy provides incentive to come up with share propositions. In senior citizen complexes like Bella Vista, New Haven, Connecticut we have been doing that without digital and with no payment expected.
For example, if we gain weight, at our age we don't have the illusion we will return to our girlish figures. Each floor in each of the five buildings - A, B, C, D, and E has a lobby. We put all those small size clothes out in that lobby. Our business guests from Boston were snowed in so we open our apartment to the first six people who are willing to sit through a six-course dinner. Anyone who needs coaching on how to interview for a part-time job swings by my apartment to role play and they're not allowed to leave until they have the must-dos down cold.
Sharing comes easily to the aging because somewhere along the line we got help when we needed it and that made all the difference. So, intuitively we know to pass on what we have and to assist our neighbors to find what they need.