Several months ago while hiking in Sabino Canyon near Tucson I noticed out of the corner of my eye something astonishing. Fortunately, I happened to have my phone with me so I recorded it. I’ve recently taught myself some video editing skills so now I am able to share the experience. The video below clearly shows what can be achieved when there is coordinated action working toward a common objective. Are humans as smart as ants?
What will it take to get us to a would of peace where we all have access to what we need to live a dignified life? My thought is that we will need to share and cooperate as never before, to devote ourselves to promoting the common good, and to create new social, political, and economic structures that better serve those ends.
One promising initiative in that direction is Shareable.
In the midst of an economic downturn sharing and cooperation become even more important than usual. If I’m right, our present situation is more than a cyclical downturn, it is the beginning of a fundamental economic readjustment triggered by peak debt, peak oil, peak pollution, etc… The limits to growth have been reached and we will not grow our way out of this predicament.
It seems we are now entering the chrysalis stage of societal metamorphosis, which means that familiar structures on which we’ve been dependent are breaking down. This runs the gamut from money and banking to health care, food and energy systems, education, government and law, and even religion.
As we undertake the necessary community based restructuring, it is essential that we find ways to make sure that everyone’s basic needs are taken care of and that positive developmental projects get the support they need. Alongside the deployment of moneyless and bankless systems of reciprocal exchange, it is essential that we also enhance the structures of the gift economy. More than giving to the usual charities, this means doing what we can to satisfy the needs that we see all around us. Give or share what you have, it need not be money. Most of us have more stuff than we use, and much more than we need.
But wise use of our monetary resources is still important. I recently discovered a new website called givv.org that allows you to designate a fixed amount to donate every month, and to distribute it amongst any number of recipients that you name. You can thus give small amounts and avoid getting on mailing lists that inundate you with appeals for further donations. You can watch a three-minute video here.
If you missed it, you can consult my list of Financing Alternatives, which also includes some other creative ways of giving.
Here’s an inspiring talk by Cameron Herold on ways to become more self-reliant and less dependent on government programs. Couple that with sharing, cooperation, and community organizing and maybe we have a formula for creating the “butterfly economy.” — t.h.g.
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