Society : Giving without conditions


Bags with donations hanging on a fence at Savignyplatz.

Photo: dpa/Britta Pedersen

BerlinIt is a beautiful thing, not only the own supply situation, but also to think of those for whom access to the things more difficult under normal circumstances, if not denied. At Hamburg Central station there is already for three years a so-called gifts of the fence, to the people for the needy plastic bags, attach with clothes and food. Also in Berlin in the past few weeks, gifts, fences have grown and in so many places, that one could almost say, you overgrown already.

Dystopian Flotsam And Jetsam

At the schönberger Winterfeldtplatz, for example, is a Park fence so colorful fitted that it looks at first glance like a Market. On the second work bags and fabrics, then more fleeting, more like flotsam and Jetsam that may have remained after a dystopian, Berlin storm surge on the grid related: Wasted, Stranded, half-Rotten. Just a few steps someone in a knee-high fence has a further facility Gifts opened. A couple of books lying around, a little clothing and something in a bag.

In front of the entrance doors or in walk-in window niches one sees in many districts from time to time boxes with dishes, or what to get rid of the people, after they had seen in the case of Netflix, the clean-up films by Marie Kondo. I’ve also put stuff out. On such boxes, a “Thank you depends on thick” in the air. Thanks for the ride, then I will spare me the next trash can open the view in the eyes of the discarded Teddy bear.

Homeless people only!

To the newly established fences that I’ve seen so far Gave, also over the ongoing things such as plastic toys or a tattered dictionary of foreign words, to the right from the trash part of it. In between, maybe a bag of milk, which is hopefully still fresh and cotton clothing that is hopefully washed. But you may you should, you have to get that now? The written warning, just the fingers not to omit it, if you are in need of, is found at many fences. The homeless only. But Would probably take someone a little, if he needed it? And: Need someone’s trash?

Now is a social mine field, Type always. From “Now cheer up, at least!” to “Oh my God, where is the Vase that has brought us your mother at the last visit is it?” from the desire of the papers forced to the thank-you letter forced after Christmas, is the Last – as much trouble as that may give the donor or the recipient. And all of this probably only because Giving is supposed to be more blessed than to receive, as it says in the Bible. At least in the personal exchange, it is considered much safer to be the Giver. It then determines what flows where and reaping also thanks for that.

The Propaganda from the gift horse

But what if this Form of the gifts of culture on the same misunderstanding was based as the commercial distribution of the role of “employer” and “employee”? What if what is happening in the guise of giving, and often coercion excluded? Because the rejection of a gift is not considered a failure of the giver, but as a social stupidity in suspicion – “a bestowed horse looks in the mouth”. Why not? Who needs an old animal with poor teeth?

The fence gave in Berlin-Mitte.

Photo: dpa/Jörg Carstensen

It is, of course, a two-sided Problem. “Please, then you will be given”, it says elsewhere in the Bible. But it is also in Ask for bliss might be, it is more likely to be believed less. We can do it. due to the own practice of not Giving to imagine that us would be given if we should have so much given that we are in need of self – At least not what we needed. That’s why we keep the issue of giving rather solid in the Hand, before others start, there is something to write in. And Ask is considered to be indelicate.

Give what the other wants

Fairer or happier the world but have not been made and therefore you could open the theme after all these years, perhaps, but again it is the example of the Gabenzauns that would have to be a Bittzaun. Approximately so: Who is ready to give, go and listen to what those need to ask, you’ll get it to you the next day at the agreed time. Targeted and on-demand. A Sleeping Bag. A Thermos. Twenty Euros. Or a six-pack of beer.

Because – here’s the small print comes: A Type that really deserves thanks, it transfers without a condition, or evaluation of just what the other wants. Everything else may be in individual cases, and especially currently, is also helpful (what can go in a loaf of bread or a bag of oranges already wrong?), but – you will know if you are even the Begging – based disposal or at the end, but always a kind of hierarchical business.