(Why the ‘Caversham’ website has been re-born.)
There are strong historical links between the creator(s) of Unstated, the creator(s) of the Caversham website and the suburb of Caversham. Indeed, talking of history, the original Caversham website itself dates back to 1995 – the heady days when coloured text on a page was a radical thing. (1995 is only four years after the first ever web page was created.)
A lot of time has gone by since then, and the Caversham site fell dormant for a good few years. The ‘why’ of that is neither here nor there, but why is it being re-born now?
And the answer is simple enough – to give something back.
To put a little flesh on that, with long-standing links to Caversham comes a lot of local knowledge and specific local experience. It is easy for that to all be simply, accidentally lost. Knowledge shared is often knowledge both valued and enjoyed. And it can also be useful. And that’s what the Caversham site is there to do: to share knowledge – to give something back.
Of course, that in turn begs a question: why bother to give something back?
And answering that is not so simple a task.
For example, you can entangle yourself down in questions of morality and whether it’s ‘right’ and/or ‘proper’ to ‘give something back’, as a general concept or in return for all specific you’ve received. So, you could argue that if living in Caversham has been good, that will have been as a result of the efforts of all the people who have – one way or another – made it a good place to live. And hence you ‘should’ feel it’s right and proper to, in return, try and make life in Caversham good for others, in whatever way you can.
But as you might imagine, pursuing that line of thought can easily throw up a whole pile of subsequent questions. (Where is the ‘morality’ being generated; what creates the judgements of ‘right’ and ‘proper’ and what exactly is meant by them … and so on and so on and so on.)
And so perhaps it’s easier to just be very simple about it all. There have been any number of thorough, rigorous studies which show that if you make other people feel good, you’ll feel good too – and better than if you don’t bother. Those are findings in reference to any common notion of what’s good. It really is that simple.
To put that another way: be selfish! Give something back because that will make other people feel better and that in turn will make you feel better. And that is a sensible win-win path for absolutely everyone to follow.