“We live in societies operating within the exchange paradigm: a pattern of linking the meeting of needs to money, both in the sense that people who have needs are often required to have money in order to meet them, and people who want to contribute to the meeting of needs are often required to have money to do so.
The [gift economy] aims to encourage, instead, the gift paradigm: a pattern of resource flow that isn’t based on individuals’ access to money.” – Miki Kashtan (www.mikikashtan.org)
The majority of sessions and resources created through the one person revolution are offered as a gift; they constitute in themselves a practice of unconditional and uncoupled giving and receiving.
You are invited to also participate in this economy when you can do so joyfully, and without hardship, resentment or expectation. Contributions can be started, changed and stopped at any time.
I understand that this is asking a lot: it is asking you to examine the entire set of beliefs that sustain the existing world economy.
While the market economy is based on exchange (I give you X and you give me Y), a true gift economy completely separates giving and receiving from one another.
My hope is that this shift towards a gift economy will support a needs-based flow of resources, where you and I don’t give to each other based on what we get out of it (Good outcome), but rather we give to each other based on our own personal practice of self-inquiry and harm interruption (Right procedure).
You can read more about right procedure here: www.theonepersonrevolution.org/about-reclaim-framework-reclaim
A NOTE FROM TARA
This is new experiment that I am endeavouring on as of December 3 2021. And it is challenging for me! I too am asking myself to examine the beliefs that sustain the existing world economy.
I do not have outside funding; this business is my sole source of monetary income. I often face off with fear and scarcity. What keeps me practicing is my understanding that this kind of economy will only ever be a reality if I create the opportunity for it to be. So this is me creating that opportunity.
My sustainability will likely arise from many people contributing very small amounts (e.g. $1-$10/month), a significant number of people contributing larger amounts (e.g. $30-$50/month), and a few people contributing much larger amounts (e.g. $100-$500/month) to create sufficiency.
Creating a sustainable base of recurring contributions rather than one-time contributions is what will provide me with ongoing resourcing and stability. One-time contributions are like infrequent injections of fuel while ongoing, monthly contributions are what form the basis of my capacity to do my work over time. I request that you consider making a monthly contribution instead of a one-time contribution, no matter how small the amount, if you have the capacity and willingness to do so.
Based on Miki Kashtan’s research, there are a few hurdles that one can face when they encounter a gift economy. As such, here are a few considerations I’d like to share with you:
- As a general statement, we are trained to mistrust anything offered freely; please know, there are no strings attached to the gifts that I share.
- My livelihood depends on this gift economy.
- If you are feeling guilt or obligation around giving, then you might be engaging in the market/exchange economy instead of the gift economy.
- As a general statement, we are trained to think in terms of scarcity; this is an opportunity to practice unlearning that.
Miki says, “gift economies are truly gift economies only if the gifting is voluntary.” So while I offer you an opportunity to contribute financially, I ask that you only do so if it is joyful for you, and if you are able to do so without hardship, resentment or expectation.
In addition, here is my Wish List of other non-monetary ways to participate in the gift economy:
- Share my sessions and their impact on you with people in your network.
- Ask your employer to hire me for weekly wellness sessions for your office.
- I struggle with business marketing; if this is your area of expertise and you’d like to gift your skills, I am open to that discussion.
- My sessions are currently only available in spoken English. If you have expertise as a translator – (I have a special interest in ASL) – and would like to gift your skills, I am open to that discussion.
- Here is a dynamic material Wish List, the items from which could be purchased on Amazon or another platform of someone’s choice: www.amazon.ca/hz/wishlist/ls/GMVA0P8JQ8BO
In preparation for this shift in business, I have been downsizing my life and learning how to live more simply in order to reduce my cost of living; I am still in a relatively early stage of my transition and imagine that I will be until mid-2022.
Once I have more clarity about ongoing expenses, I will share about them transparently – as well as any contributions that the Network of Support is gifting. In advance of this clarity, any gifts are gratefully received.
“The principles, you know, of an economics which should be are based in five postulates and one fundamental value principle.
- The economy is to serve the people and not the people to serve the economy.
- Development is about people and not about objects.
- Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.
- No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.
- The economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system, the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible. And the fundamental value to sustain a new economy should be that no economic interest, under no circumstance, can be above the reverence of life.”
– Manfred Max-Neef
“What does it take for networks of mutual aid to become conscious, political entities? And to develop into what I call a dialogical social systems, so that they can ongoingly replace, interact with, and transform the institutions and structures of the society that we currently have, which are increasingly presenting themselves as being internally incapable of fulfilling their stated missions of creating health, justice, and economy. These systems are failing both internally and because they are part of an ecologically unsustainable proposal for continuing life on the planet.
How do these networks transform into something which has ongoing life? Not as a new institution but ongoingly as something that is intentionally vulnerable to its own usefulness. Something which doesn’t intend to perpetuate itself, doesn’t want to become an organization, doesn’t want to have a board of directors, doesn’t want to congeal itself into something which then defends against all influences of change.”
– Dominic Barter