Memorial Day weekend in my hometown boasts one of the first seasonal instances of what us locals call “the 285 RV and boat show.” Our small local highway, and the only way in or out of town, becomes oversaturated with an onslaught of cars, motorcycles, and trucks pulling a variety of recreational vehicles. If you’re a native, you know to completely avoid heading west into town from Denver on Friday afternoon and evening, or heading back east towards Denver on Monday (or Sunday if it’s just a regular summer weekend).
That’s why the state of this little local shop struck me so much. I hadn’t ever really taken notice before, but with the increased traffic I found it much more impressive that the wares and goods had been left on display outside the shop this memorial day.
When it’s just local mountain traffic, it doesn’t make sense to drag it in and then back out I’m sure, but with thousands of out of towners driving past I found it quite trusting, and consequently charming, that the displays remained cheerfully outside the dark windows and locked doors. Maybe, despite the news, people aren’t all that bad… Maybe we’re aren’t all just ot to get whatever we can… Maybe humans are more decent than we’re give ourselves credit for?
I recently watched a Nas Daily video that talked about an Egyptian town where their entire marketplaces remain out in the open air overnight, without fear of theft. In the book I’m listening to right now, The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein, he talks about the possibility that our inherent human nature isn’t in fact greed and selfishness but rather trust and generosity, citing the gift economics of hunter gatherer communities.
Perhaps, like Eisenstein so eloquently and thoroughly details in his books, the greed and selfishness found in modern society is actually relatively new. Perhaps indeed our exacerbated separation from nature, and even one another, is the true cause of our “independent” and depraved behaviors…
Whatever the case, seeing the trust and vulnerability of that little local shop gave me a delight on memorial day.