Monetary systems: Flat Money, Barter, Gift Economy

by Gailstrail on November 26, 2015

Barter system2“Study your past if you want to define your future.” – Confucius

Bartering has a long history. I’ve been bartering in one way or another all my life. Interestingly, when I looked ‘bartering’ up I found out that ‘there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter. Non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics.  Remember the movie ‘Pay It Forward’, well, someone knew their history or were able to tap into what ancient sages believed: ‘What is learned in one generation is passed onto the next’.

water heartHow do we go deep into ‘living from the heart’? Here’s hoping  you’re a ‘Taoist’ or a serious ‘Christian’. What we find in the world can be tiny and amazing. Love comes unexpected. Love comes with a whiff from the kitchen or a scent of pine as we trek through the forest. All the while we look for ways to lighten our load; cut expenses,  get things done and maybe find joy.

I love history, and now it’s so reachable. And just as Confucius said, ‘studying our history defines our destiny’. To me, it’s evident sentient beings have changed very little. We are like children who refuse to listen. We let the lessons of the past lay silent. Much of what we do simply does not work. How do we dig ourselves out?

moneyWe live in a time of the ‘shrinking dollar’. Jobs are almost non-existent and we try to ‘tighten our belts’, in far too many instances,  without starving. We struggle to find blame. Truth is, we’re all somewhat responsible for our circumstance.  Responsibility reaches far and wide. We each participated or did not participate in someway to bring us to this juncture.How can we make things easier on ourselves?

This may sound simplistic, however, increasing our bartering efforts may just be a tiny tip of how we dig out. ‘Hard times’ will not take care of itself. Some seem embarrassed when offering to barter. There is  nothing to be ashamed of; societies often turned to ‘bartering’ when in a time of  ‘money crisis’. And, we certainly can’t argue about the ‘money crisis’ we’re in.

In case you are unfamiliar with the bartering system; it is a method of exchange by which goods or services are exchanged for goods and services without using a medium of exchange like ‘money’. It’s usually ‘bilateral‘ and has always existed along side monetary systems. Most cultures of the world have based their ‘exchange system’ on ‘flat money’. And look at what most culture are experiencing!

Just to recap. The dollar bill is all but disappeared, it’s time to look at other strategies and integrate more of our heart into the economy; which may include a combination of  ‘monetary systems'; flat money, barter, gift economy and looking at new ways of supporting each other.  Let’s  increase our efforts to do these things.  Let’s think ‘outside the box’ a little more. We all know jobs are limited. The feed back about our circumstances seems bleak! But we humans are incredible, we always seem to get up after a fall.

Here are some things we can do to make life easier:

  1. Go over your expenses and cut back everywhere you can. I keep checking and finding things to cut back on.
  2. Barter whenever possible.
  3. Practice ‘gift economics’, mix it up.
  4. Get back to a more ‘need based’ economy as apposed to ‘want based’ (Century of Self).
  5. Call everyone you are doing business with and see what specials they might offer.
  6. Do more outdoor activities; hiking, camping, picnicing, etc.
  7. Support your Parks.
  8. Scrutinize every dollar you spend. Do I really need this?
  9. Be prepared for great things to happen.


City of Colorado Springs: Homelessness and Poverty

by Gailstrail on September 6, 2015

Tree Guard in Stratton Open Space Tree Guard

September 3, 2015

Honorable Mayor Suthers and City Council Members,

I understand your dilemma with regard to the issue of people displaying themselves in what you have deemed as inappropriate places and in inappropriate manner.

It saddens me to see our beautiful city streets filled with poverty and homelessness. No one in our nation or the world should be living in such a manner! We the people have been lazy. You only have to look at our voting records and the state of so much dis-ease in the world to see how little involvement citizens have taken in governing ourselves better.

It is everyone’s job, not just yours to find positive and long term solutions to homelessness and poverty.  We are not alone in this struggle. Our entire nation struggles with this scourge on our planet. Now, our city has an incredible opportunity. We can become a beacon in this endeavor; if we all put our heads together and take time.

I believe you could postpone acting on ORD 9.2.112 and give the citizens, businesses and organizations of Colorado Springs an opportunity and time to assist you in coming up with more positive and long term solutions.

I have a few idea:

  1. Lets get our community businesses (Home Depot for instance) and people who have graciously contributed to Habitat for Humanity to rise to this emergency by creating more housing for the homeless.
  2. Lets began a City of Colorado Springs Work program which many of the homeless could fill; With this creative effort our tax dollars would be spent to give people pride and encouragement. Good will goes a very long way to keeping peace and justice!  Much more so than jail and fines.

These kinds of ideas are what is needed. Ideas which bring positive and long term solutions. I want to live in a city that shines and is a beacon for other cities. Colorado Springs can be that city if our focus and attention address the root causes of poverty and homelessness.

Thank you,

Gail Black


Limbo Dancing and Raising the Bar!

January 17, 2015

Tweet It’s happening folks! Humanity is raising its’ consciousness bar, our dollars are talking and businesses are paying attention. Due to our technological advancement, we can mobilize, organize, and connect with more people faster than ever! The information we are sharing is making an enormous impact on our culture. Good changes are occurring. We are […]

Read the full article →

My Dream

January 13, 2015

Tweet My Dream is that we be more realistic about how many humans our world can sustain. Do we need to continually manipulate nature to support a population who seem to believe there is no boundaries to how many people our world can sustain?  Are the consequences we are witnessing not enough evidence of our […]

Read the full article →

What Love is Like

November 20, 2014

Tweet   Love is finding and taking time to feel your body and give it what it needs to perform optimally. Love is taking time to know yourself. Love is finding and taking time to know yourself; discovering the fundamental truths of creation, evolution and involution of the world. Love is making and taking time […]

Read the full article →

The Power and Politics Behind What We Eat

November 12, 2014

Tweet The more I read about pet food; the more I learn about human food and how the two are connected; which in turn brings me to the power and politics behind what we eat…and, more importantly three simple things you and I can do to make positive  changes!  This story does not have a […]

Read the full article →

The Most Fascinating and Fantastic Machine in Existence: Invisible in Education

May 14, 2014

Tweet What is this ‘machine’? Any guesses? Hang on to your hat. It’s not what you think. The mechanization of the ‘human body’ sounds cold and calculated to me; which I am not. I don’t like referring to my body as a machine. Nor does my Tai Chi Master. However, much of the scientific world […]

Read the full article →

What’s Nipping at Your Heals?

December 6, 2013

Tweet There’s so many different things that can be nipping at our heals. For me, it’s animals on the run, furry little beasts that share my home, a friend with cancer, another friend who says I should write a book, Tai Chi, holidays, and how to juggle it all. It’s 5 degrees. My terrier is […]

Read the full article →

Understanding Climate, Catastrophic Consequences and Changes

November 25, 2013

Tweet Climate seems like such a complicated issue…or do we make it so simply to keep from taking the appropriate steps to correct our behavior. Catastrophic consequences to humanities bad choices is leaving the worlds population with options we would rather not consider. However, we must not only consider, we must act now! “Climate is […]

Read the full article →

Americans Just Wanta Have Fun!

August 1, 2013

“The American public does not want to be uplifted, ennobled–it wants to be amused.” – Alice Dunbar-Nelson
Alice and I have much in common. She knew what many of us are aware of…I wonder what she would think if she were here today?

Read the full article →