Monetary systems: Flat Money, Barter, Gift Economy

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.

My Dream

Once upon a time we reproduced to shun extinction. Now we must stop reproduction for the same reason.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 mis-guided nature? Introducing poisons’ into the world to manipulate agriculture and feed an over-populated world; when you think about it, it’s a craziness.

My dream is that we are more thoughtful in our approach to bringing more and more humans to the the planet.

Is sex a form of entertainment? Is your only claim to fame having a baby…then our world is doomed! The challenges our children face are greater than what we adults in our mis-guided actions can presently correct. It’s appalling that we would bring more children here; believing life will be better for them and they can correct our mistakes. Is it fair to bring children into a world which is bursting at the seam and scrambling to sustain an already over-populated world which is continually at war, with systems of government who work for the rich? Governments who view it’s population as mere resources and pawns and care so little that every society has poverty and suffering…and its’ citizens say, ‘It’s okay that we have poverty and suffering, it’s always been this way’!

is that our development stops creeping in on wildlife habitat; that we continually expand spaces which acknowledge our inter-connectedness with nature and wildlife. My dream is for spaces that celebrate this connectedness; exciting and joyful places; places where bird songs, babbling brooks and the wind through the trees supply much of the entertainment we crave. Am I delusional?

My dream is that Offices’ of Economic Development and Public Finance around the world offer environmental incentives which have an extremely high tax break for people and business who want to move here and NOT drain or poison our resources, employee locally; and not destroy wildlife and natural habitats. Wildlife does not understand the ‘concrete jungle’ that keeps crumbling the land.

My dream is that all governments make education (free for everyone) and infrastructure (including agriculture) their priorities.

My dream is that everyone accepts their responsibility as a steward to our planet and understands what being a steward means: Setting aside our ‘wanting’ to look at what is ‘needed’.

 

Is this a crazy dream?

 

The American Dream: A Fix For America

Walking the line between sensuality and reality leaves me a little dizzy. ‘Give me Freedom or give me Death’ is obsolete. There are varying shades of freedom and death in Blueray and Digital surrounding me. A colorful vortex sucks at my bones; luring me with promises that I know will leave me docile and apathetic. Jump in, be happy!

Jump in, be happy! The American Dream is your ‘fix’!  And, everything comes with a promise. How do you know who will keep their promise? Who can you trust? Trust is much more than a word. How do you chose without knowing? How do you find the truth? It takes a ‘pioneering spirit’ and time; you can’t buy time, control it, or ever seem to have enough. If you are not making time to filter through the muck; that colorful vortex is sucking at your bones, luring you with promises which are leaving you apathetic and docile! And the truth no longer matters!

Where to begin? Let’s step back in time and examine what shaped our society. Sigmund Fraud wrote about  ‘human psychosis’.  What does Fraud have to do with the ‘American Dream’? A little history. Fraud discovered humans had feelings we repressed because they were too dangerous: remnants of our animal past. As he witnessed the horror of war mounting; he believed war to be terrible evidence of exactly how we should have expected people to behave given the knowledge of our psychoanalysis.

I surmise that our ‘animal past’ gave us a limited ability to communicate; and as a result we were more inclined to battle for what we wanted. However, our evolution into intelligent beings, with increased communication skills, should have curtailed our nature to battle for what we want. This being said; is it our ‘animal past’ that keeps us in in the battle or is it purely economics?

It only took me a couple of minutes to ‘filter through the muck’ to get to this information.

“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.” 

―  Smedley D. Butler

How did people of our nation come to accept everything that the medias’ feed us? Without question we believed the glossy advertisements as truth and we bought what was being sold.  We have to go back in time a little to look at how we were duped and continue to be duped. We have let others tell us what the ‘American Dream’ should be! Fraud’s American nephew, Edward Bernays was the first man to show American corporations how to make people want what they do not need; manipulating the masses; linking mass produced goods to our unconscious desires. Out of this came a new political idea of how to control the masses: by satisfying peoples inner selfish desires, one made them happy and thus docile. The start of the all consuming ‘Self’ which is come to dominate the world today!

Armed with this knowledge, American Corporations learned how to package and present anything they could make a ‘buck’ on to the American people…war was dressed in patriotic speeches and love of country becoming the ultimate commodity for those who would benefit.

Education is a ‘pillar post’ to humanities foundation: And, if you take the time to educate and do research you will see how we came to our nations crisis; you will find yourself motivated to get out of the ‘muck’ and this crisis. You may also find yourself wanting to ‘shoot the messengers’ who present the facts of how we got here. Go beyond that notion. Go deeper. Their solutions may not be what you can take hold of, but their solutions will give you ideas to build on. You will discover solutions you can hold on to.  Solutions to our bleak reality does not exist in continuing the model we’ve created…it is NOT working for the majority of us! We need a new kind of ‘Paradigm’. I believe, whenever given the opportunity and mechanism to do so, people are good, kind and supportive. There are new ‘paradigms’ to build on. New ‘opportunities and mechanisms’ to be apart of…we simply must not give up our pioneering spirit.

I’ve worked hard for some piece of the American Dream for almost 70 years. I’ve come up with a tiny bit…and I could probably stop with what I have. However, my ‘pioneering spirit’ and my nature to be ‘good, kind and supportive’ will not let me be content. I’ve a vision that humans can be all that is good in the world. Through my ‘looking glass’ I’ve found some ‘new paradigms’.  If you are visionary enough and can learn to trust a little more you will seek out these ‘new paradigms’ and change our History! Here is one such ‘paradigm! Jill Stein has real answers and solutions. She, like the majority of us, does not have the money to make a real run for the Presidency, however, her Four Step Plan is excellent…maybe the plan can be pushed into the light!

Happy Visionary Trails!

Education: Where Every Trail Begins

Where Every Trail Begins

Responsibility to our Community

is my ‘civic duty’; your ‘civic duty’. It is each person’s responsibility to understand the social, economic, cultural and environmental issues which face their community; and be involved at some level to meet those responsibilities. Casting a vote, is one single act of this responsibility…however, it must not end there! Government creates a foundation for our communities; people build the rest.

In the words of Anna Lord,  2008 candidate for Colorado State Representative.

“Colorado’s children need a first class higher education system. For many years, Colorado’s higher education system has been strip-mined of resources, leading to higher tuition rates and decreased financial aid. I will support the investment in our higher education system not only to protect the future of our children, but also to ensure the future prosperity of our economy.”

Unfortunately, Anna did not win the election.  I hope she will run again. She is an individual who will work towards putting Education in it’s proper priority!  And I promise to participate on some level to make sure I do my share in this enormous responsibility to our community.

Clear Direction

I like the direction Anna wants to take Colorado. Putting education at the forefront shows she understands the proper priority for our community and society as a whole.  All governments’ need to invest in the highest level of education for every individual. We need to shift our priorities; placing education at the top! Continue reading