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.

Gift Economy: Spending From the Heart

Welcome. I’ll try and make this short, sweet and maybe a little entertaining.   And, of course, it’s somewhat free.

We’re all looking for ways to lighten our load; cut expenses and still get things done and maybe find some enjoyment.  We are in the time of the ‘shrinking dollar’. Jobs are almost non-existent and we have to ‘tighten our belts’, in far too many instances,  without starving. Who’s to blame? I’ll point my finger at you and me.  Who else can be held responsible. We each participated in someway to bring us to this juncture…again. You would think we would have learned a few lessons…just shows you how much attention some of us are paying.  Much of what we are doing is simply not working.  Now, we’ve got to dig ourselves out…yet, again.

How can we make things easier on ourselves and maybe change directions? This may sound simplistic, however, increasing our Bartering efforts is just a tiny tip on the iceberg of getting through these ‘hard times’. Some seem embarrassed when offering to barter. There is  nothing to be ashamed of; societies often turn 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!

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. That sounds like the movie ‘Pay It Forward’ or going deep into ‘living from the heart’ …here’s hoping you’re a ‘Taoist’ or a serious ‘Christian’.

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 just cut my expenses $130 a month. That’s almost $1600 a year.
  2. Barter whenever possible.
  3. Practice ‘gift economics’.
  4. Look closely at companies that offer ‘enlightened capitalism‘.
  5. Get back to a more ‘need based’ economy.
  6. Call everyone you are doing business with and see what specials they might offer.
  7. Do more outdoor activities; hiking, camping, picnicing, etc.
  8. Support your Parks.
  9. Scrutinize every dollar you spend.
  10. Be prepared for great things to happen.

I’m making a commitment to do all 10 of these things…let’s see what happens.

Happy trails!