Berlin is different from the average German city in several ways.
Berlin has a thriving culture of reuse and upcycling. In Berlin, you can furnish your house with second-hand furniture for a tiny fraction of what it would cost you otherwise – even for free. There is no taboo against using what somebody else has already used. Given Berlin’s penchant for environmentalism and its fight against materialism, elegant reuse elevates your status as opposed to lowering it.
It is difficult to replicate this in places which have a different definition of status. Even if you are ready to give your stuff away, you are unlikely to find enough takers.
We all feel good when we help other people. At the same time, we are also averse to seeking help. This binds us in a deadlock – a society with too many givers, but not enough takers.
Generosity is a two-sided affair. A gracious taker is also generous.