A Free Social Experiment


You know when you say to someone you’re going to do something and then for whatever reason you don’t actually do it?  Well I did that yesterday, or in actual fact I didn’t do that, and I have to say it didn’t make me feel good.

It’s Red Nose Day on Friday, in case you hadn’t been told or heard or seen so far in the UK.  We’re great at charity on a national level.  We have fun, we help others, we give.

Anyway, a colleague kindly organised some events at work for everyone to participate in this week.  One of which was to dress up/dress down or come in your onsies for the day.  I said I’d come in pyjamas for the day.

Only I didn’t.

I bottled out.  I suddenly realised that everyone would know what my PJs looked like (which for some reason is a bigger deal than showing my day to day happenings on my blog?!).  Then I couldn’t find my onesie and I don’t own a dressing gown and by the time I got to work I’d already convinced myself I didn’t need to worry about it.

It’s not good.  I said I’d do it and I didn’t.  I gave money and that still didn’t make me feel any better, not least because I’d let my colleague down and for an organisation that’s trying to get on it’s new organisation feet with less staff, it’s really imperative we all muck in.  Only I didn’t.

Then going through my emails yesterday I came across Chris Guillebeau’s latest post, on his blog – The Art of Non-Conformity called How Can You Help Someone for Free?  A Social Experiment 

He wants to see how many people he can get offering their service, time, products or experience for free on his blog.  At the moment the comments are beyond numerous which is pretty impressive.  Although rather than how many, the question really being asked, of how to help someone, brings me back to my dilemma of yesterday.  It cost nothing to dress up and yet my introverted personality felt this was a step too far.

Maybe dressing up isn’t for me.  That’s not to say I’m not ready to help people though.  We’ve all got skills that can be used by someone else, time that can be used to help a cause, and strength that someone else might not have in a certain area that can be harnessed.

I like to think mine is (amongst others), gardening.

You already know my idea around getting people to grow their own veggies  It doesn’t stop there.

  • Want advice about that plant in the corner you don’t know what to do with, ask me.
  • Got a garden you want re-designing, ask me.  I’ll plan it for you.
  • Like to start gardening but haven’t a clue where to start?  Ask me.  I’ll point you in the right direction
  • Wondering what possible benefits being outside digging or adding pansies to your garden could in any way possible helps you?  Ask me.  There are loads.
  • Want to set up a growing scheme at your local church, college, block of flats but have no idea who to turn to.  I might not know either but I bet I can find out for you.  Just ask.
  • Don’t know your clay from your sand, your sage from your salvias and your dahlias from your dandelions?  Ask me.
  • Started re-doing your garden only to find it’s too hard to now finish it?  If I live locally or can get to you I’ll come and help you out.  Just ask.

All free.

I am so excited with anything to do with gardening and plants, I also want to be able to help anyone else in any way possible so they too enjoy the space they have have got.  It might be a windowsill, an allotment, a field.  Doesn’t matter what size it is what’s important is that you start using it in a way that makes you happy and excited too.


6 responses to “A Free Social Experiment

  1. This happened to all of us Sophie, not doing what we wanted to do or we said we will do. I know it’s easier to give money but I learned (nearly 70 years old) that sometimes we have to work hard to deal with our problems; But I am sure you can help someone with garding and planting and this is great.
    But once, try to do something you hate to do, you may be surprised how happy you will feel.
    have a nice day

    • Indeed, indeed. I think you’re right – work hard through the problems. There is always a way around or through them, just maybe not around them all the time 😉

  2. You’re like me, Sophie. You beat yourself up about these things. I have been beating myself up psychologically about a work-related screwup all week! Don’t do it! I too am not in my pyjamas today (I’m at home today so don’t have to be, but to be honest, I wouldn’t want to be teaching in my pyjamas anyway if I were at work, even though I admire people who are doing it today). Don’t be so hard on yourself (easy to say of course – I am always v. hard on myself). You will help in other ways and no doubt give money to the cause anyway, so you haven’t really let anyone down. Sometimes I tend to rebel against these organised ‘forced fun’ things, even if they’re in a good cause, if they make us feel uncomfortable in our own skin.

    Hope my other half Doug was helpful with his running tips the other day! Sent him the link to your blog in case he had some suggestions.

    • It’s wanting to do the right thing, is it? Typically the things we beat ourselves up over are pretty small in the grand scheme of things as well. Yes Doug did respond (thank you for sharing the post), & has given we some great tips which Im already putting into practice. 😛

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