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Jan 18, 2019 04:40:54

Sam Sweeps

by @brianball PATRON | 281 words | 389💌

Brian Ball

Total posts: 389💌
Total words: 107477 (429 pages 📄)

Full of energy and looking for a distraction, Sam noticed the heavy morning rain had coaxed the tree out front to dump copious amounts of sticky, fruity seeds on the urban sidewalk below. The tree is desperate to reproduce but the concrete surrounding the tree is putting up an incredible resistance to all the seeds being dispersed.

He grabs the broom looking for satisfaction. Experience tells him that each square swept offers a sweet bite of satisfaction. No airpods and music required. Just the free exercise of a consistent pushing and tapping of the 22" broom. 

Push. Push. Tap. Tap. Push, push, push. Tap tap. Push. Tap. Switch hands.

As the squares transform from heavily sprinkled to almost perfectly clean, the satisfaction grows. The work doesn't require much thinking. The lifting of the broom, the placement, and the length of the stroke need to be attended to lest you push too far and break your rhythm. But, if you maintain a discipline of stroke length and overlap your passes enough to keep the debris in line, and you can accelerate the pace and enjoy an almost aerobic, cleaning experience.

It's not only satisfying to clean your own area, Sam thought. I'll clean all the berries in front of the neighbor and the second neighbor as well, he mused as he swept. And so he did. 

In systems thinking, the "tragedy of the commons" is a term used to describe how common resources get squandered when somebody takes more than a fair share. Sweeping somebody's sidewalk without them asking is the opposite of that. It also gives them an opportunity to satisfaction in return as they reciprocate and sweep for you.

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