Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann, Vancouver Sun
His name is Brice Royer, and earlier this year he posted an ad on Craigslist.
The ad quickly went viral with over 1 million viewers. Brice posted the ad because after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012, the reality of living with cancer set in and the pain became more severe. He found it more difficult to get up each day. The depression got so bad, he was actually thinking about suicide. It was too much to try to figure out how to successfully take his own life, so he told himself he would endure for just one more minute. And then another. Eventually, he chose to live.
Thinking he’d been handed a death sentence, Royer was inspired to take a vacation.He went to a cottage in North Vancouver for a month and while he was there, he researched the causes of serious illness, and discovered they ranged from toxins in the environment to stress and loneliness.
After much contemplation, he concluded that the root cause of his illness was a lack of love in our society. When he discovered that the healthiest people in the world live in places such as Okinawa, Japan and Ikaria, Greece, and that they have a lifestyle of caring for one another via what they call a gift economy, Royce wanted to experience this where he lives in Vancouver.
“They all have big families and small communities … they give freely and they receive freely. They are isolated from the market economy…and they make things themselves,” he says.
On March 12, 2015, he posted the following ad:
Hello, I am selling unconditional love for $0. Infinite square feet lot. Includes refreshing air, sunshine, the Earth, beautiful mountains and the ocean. A stunning ‘classic’ heritage made 4.5 billion years ago.
Address: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way.
Available now to serious buyers. Perfect for the first-time buyer and experienced investors feeling empty and trapped with stress and pressure to maximize Return on Investment because of family and stakeholders’ expectation.
HISTORY: I received it a long time ago when I was born. I received the gift of life from my parents, the sun, the water, the Earth, the air, a smile, a hug, a helping hand, without being asked anything in return. I didn’t earn any of them. They belong to the public domain, the commons, ‘Mother Earth’ or God, if you’re religious.
At some point, my ancestors were afraid and decided to own land that once belonged to everyone, sell services that were once freely given, and even own humans through debt. Since it was claimed or stolen by those who made the laws themselves with a series of ‘legitimate’ transfers, than any law that enforces private ownership is perpetuating a crime. Not all laws are morally just. Only recently, slavery was legal and women weren’t allowed to vote. Why pay for something that was stolen from you? They made a mistake. I’m sorry. Let’s start fresh with this new sale.
Although I am only one human and my time and resources are limited, my soul and the intention of love is eternal, and so is yours…and I would like us to share that experience.
PAYMENT: I don’t accept cheques or mortgage payments, only cash payments of $0. You are also welcome to re-sell it for $0. But I must warn you…it will multiply once you do.
Royce discovered that when he started giving unconditional love to strangers, gifts came back to help him, often in unexpected ways. Some of the projects he has been involved with include paying someone else’s rent for a year (even though he is currently living with his fiancée’s family) or paying a war veteran’s dentist to remove the dental amalgam fillings from her teeth that were making her sick so that she could better care for her autistic son.
Royce can only eat a few foods without getting severe headaches, rashes, heart palpitations and other symptoms. Carrots are one of those foods, and after he posted the ad, people all over the world started posting pictures of themselves with carrots to show their support. A Surrey farmer who grows food for the hungry offered Royer as many carrots as he needed before the two ever met in person.
When Francesca Murray, a homeless single mother, read the ad, she was inspired by his positive attitude and willingness to serve others. Via Facebook, she offered to come to Vancouver and help by cooking for him. Royer was so moved by her gesture, he set up a fundraiser site hoping to raise $100- to provide a two-month supply of vegetable deliveries for Murray and her young daughter. The goal was far exceeded, raising $2000- which allowed them to provide 250 meals to the women living in Francesca’s shelter.
The Power of Unconditional Love (Royer in the center, Francesca on the right).
Royer later learned that Murray’s time in the shelter ends in February 2016. She and her daughter will have to leave, whether they have somewhere to go or not. Royer and his friends are now looking for a way to find permanent housing for Murray and her daughter. They have started a new fundraising site with the goal of raising $25,000 in order to build Murray and her daughter a sustainable tiny home (for $20,000) and provide her with $5000- to cover her short-term living expenses until the house is ready. They want to reach this goal by December 25th. (In the few hours’ time it took me to write this article, the site has raised almost $1000- dollars towards their goal.)
The greatest hope for our collective future is our humanity, that thing that stirs inside us that moves us to reach out to help another. When we share what we have, especially when that isn’t much, this Spirit multiplies exponentially.
This reminds me of the parable of the Widow’s Mite. For those of you who are not familiar with the story in Mark 12:42, Jesus and the disciples are present at the temple where the offerings were made. A poor widow put two small copper coins equal in value to a farthing in the basket while the wealthy were throwing in large amounts. Jesus comments on this to his disciples, and conveys the message that the widow’s gift was all she had, while the wealthy were giving offerings of no critical consequence to their lives despite the fact the amounts were considerably larger.
You are Loved…
A homeless woman shares what she has with other homeless women. A seriously ill young man is moved to help others as part of his healing process. Both are enriched by their generosity. Spirit responds to our intention with incredible swiftness these days. There is something of powerful goodness building in our collective consciousness: an awareness of just how rich the Field of Plenty is, especially when we open our hearts without expectation of a return and give without hesitation.
I’m going to be a part of this one.
If you are moved to buy some unconditional love at $0., consider paying it forward here. One of Royer’s friends said it best: “By helping one person, we are helping all humanity.”
A Generous Soul
You have not lived today until you have done something for something for someone who can never repay you. ~John Bunyan
All original material posted to this site is (c) 2015, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.