sewing patterns on a usb for a box of biscuits
honey and eggs for a photo session
a study table for lunch and bread
seedlings for cake
lawn maintenance for bread
a wet suit for mini cakes
photo session for babysitting
This is a small snap shot of things that have come and gone in the last two months. No money has changed hands, no promises have been made, and importantly no expectations have been shattered. Welcome to the Gift Economy, or as I like to think of it…a Kindness Exchange.
It’s not trading and it’s not bartering. It’s giving someone something for the sake of kindness and not expecting a thing back.
Although you do give something back in some way shape or form. It might not be directly back to the same person, and instead it might be passed on in turn.
Still with me?
Last year, I gave away on our local trading system, a bedroom dresser. It was free, the only hitch was the person had to come and get it. They did happily, and handed me a lovely bottle of wine.
Fast forward, and again on our local trading system. I organise to pick up some free garden supplies, before doing so I go past the local bottle shop and pick up an organic bottle wine to say a little thank you. Not needed, not expected, but done all the same.
Our society frequently tells us that we need to be earning money in order to live whole lives. Our digital devices tell us to buy, our advertising tells us to sell and at the very least we should be trading. And while I’m also a big advocate of a good trade, this kindness exchange, I’m loving even more.
No expectations and no promises, just simple kindness passed on to someone else. Remembering it doesn’t always have to go back to the same person, it can simply be passed to someone else. A family member, a friend, or a complete stranger.
Surely, there can never be too much kindness?
How about you? Do you use the Kindness Exchange or Gift Economy?