Since 1966, UNESCO has led the world in celebrations of International Literacy Day. The 2012 holiday is themed “Literacy and Peace.” Literacy Day, the PERFECT day to launch a new FCO challenge.
Consider the books sitting on your shelf. I have books that have been sitting on the shelf for years and years and years… some for more than 20 years… unread, unused. In their current dormant situation these books have zero value… they’re worthless. And, if you think about it for a moment you might even say they have a negative value. I am using up space to “warehouse” them. Have been for years. I heat them in winter; cool them in summer, pay real estate taxes on the house I keep them in; just to keep them in good condition. But for what purpose? Sitting there on the shelf they have no purpose. They have lost whatever value they once had. At best, they have decorative value. They look nice on a shelf.
At some point, I acquired these books. I must have thought I would read them for enjoyment, learning… Or perhaps I thought they would be a ready reference source for information I needed at hand. So, I paid a price. I wasted my hard earned money. Maybe I can salvage the value, even if I can’t salvage the wasted money.
These books are hidden treasures with trapped value… trapped potential.
Once we start thinking about them, we might decide to actually READ some of these books, releasing that trapped value.
Or, we might find someone who WANTS and will use the information, the story, the learning and lessons contained between the covers of that book. We would then be releasing that trapped value into our community. That dusty old book will contribute real value… It will add something to the GNH** (Gross National Happiness) or GCH (Gross Community Happiness) of our community. And, what if, when that person is done with the book, they pass it on. And so on and so on… That dusty old book could release several times the value of its original price. It might have been given away for “free”, but it is anything but worthless.
So, let’s do it! Let’s launch “The Dusty Bookshelf Challenge – 2012″. Let’s identify these hidden treasures; and find ways of releasing their hidden potential value. Let’s try offering them on our local freecycling, freecycle+, reuse, groups… Kijiji, usedanywhere, and Craigslist resources. And, if after a genuine attempt to release their value has failed, and they have really become irrelevant and worthless, let’s recycle them, and at least recapture their recycle value. I believe this will be a highly valuable exercise. We’ll learn about identifying and releasing the trapped value in unused, idle “stuff”. It will be fun, and can significantly increase the GCH in our local communities.
“These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.”