Monday, December 30, 2013

You Can’t Steal that Which is Freely Given

Evening Flight Back to Texas{Sunset from the plane window}

Best Book of the Year{Planeside reading}

I’m back in Texas now, safely ensconced in my little kitchen.  The recipe queue is full of things to make this week, and my apartment smells like peanut butter bars.  Paul came came over last night, and we made a very tasty pizza.  Life is good.

Last week, I mentioned the book I’ve been reading.  Did I mention that it’s blowing my mind?  Just when I thought nothing could top Pale Blue Dot and our beloved Carl Sagan, along comes Charles Eisenstein with his clear articulation of the relationship between our connection to each other, money, and why our current money system must evolve or die trying.

One of the ideas in Sacred Economics is that of a gift economy: we give to one another so that we can meet the needs of all.  Giving is about providing for each other.  It is an expression of care for our collective well-being.  It creates a community because she who receives is now indebted, by social bonds, to pass it on.  There aren’t always strict rules about how and when you pass it on but simply that you do.  This, I think, is the origin of family obligations: the gifts of love and care we received are never truly repaid.  Instead, we pass on the gift by caring for the newest members and renewing our family bonds.

It’s not clear to me exactly how my life will change after I finish Sacred Economics.  It’s one thing to declare that the current money system is unsustainable and immoral; it will evolve, whether through peaceful change, violent revolution, or a complete toppling under its own weight.  It’s another thing to be out and about in the world: working, spending money, making life decisions.  Money is still a very real force in my life, and I assume the same is true for most of you.

But as one small gesture toward the gift economy, I’ve decided to relinquish ownership of the text and photos that I’ve shared on this blog.  The blog is still “mine” in the sense that I have created the contents and plan to continue doing so.  But I rather like the idea of seeing my work here as being part of the gift economy; it’s yours too, because you found it.  I think it's reasonable that if you choose to use a photo or text from this site that you credit your source.  It’s the nice thing to do.  But you don’t need to ask my permission because here I have given it to you explicitly.  Go forth and create!  Sharing is caring!

You can’t steal that which is freely given.  Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, has made much of his work freely available through his website, which I encourage you to check out.  As for me, I’m pursuing some new opportunities for blog sponsorship, which may or may not generate income.  We’ll see.  I’m occupying a strange territory where I’m not exactly anti-consumerism or anti-blog sponsorship.  That’s part of what “This Week in Thoughtful Consumerism” is exploring.  I feel like I’m trying to figure out exactly what my message is.  My worldview is changing, along with my career, my ambitions, and my sense of place in the world.  But this blog has always been a place to foster self-growth for me, so I feel comfortable telling you that I don’t know where we’re going!  Maybe that’s the fun of it: to enjoy the ride and to find out where we’ll land.

Cheers!

2 comments:

Raquelita said...

Money is still very much a necessity for me, as I'm constantly reminded in a place where cost of living is high and where it is very expensive to fly out from. At least there is free wifi in the airport I'm at at the moment, so I can freely partake of some internets and some of your gift economy. :)

Rosiecat said...

Hello, my friend! I hope not to mislead: money is still a part of my life too, and I'm looking forward to the adventure of trying to earn money in new ways this year. The idea of a gift economy is not a revolution in which we burn our checkbooks and eat only root vegetables that we grow ourselves. The real goal of the gift economy is that everyone's needs are met, sustainably and joyfully. Part of doing it is relinquishing ownership so that we can contribute to the commons. Giving my blog content to the commons is perhaps more of a symbolic gesture to the commons, but it's a start.

And as for free wifi: YES, PLEASE! Why don't all airports have that yet?

Happy 2014, my dear! xoxo