The Spirit of the Gift: A Vision for a Gift Economy! With an Opportunity for a Gift from Me :)steemCreated with Sketch.

in #contest4 years ago (edited)

Now, this may get boarder-line 'utopic' or 'fantastical', and it is... But, trust me I'll wrap it up in a 'practical' way! :)

Imagine, if you will, that everyone we interacted with (directly or indirectly) on a daily basis- our friends, our family, our bosses, our 'competitors in business', our clients, our 'customers', our hairstylists, our local farmers, our grocery store owners, our sprouted grain bakers, our artisan beeswax-candlestick makers, everyone- shared the same simple idea:

The more we gave, the more we had to give.

Imagine if we were all 'competing' to see who could give the most, opposed to whom could take the most. Imagine if our status in society was determined by how many relationships we've formed, by the quality and quantity of our giving, instead of our ability to take and hoard ($ in a bank account)? What if the 'Forbes wealthiest people list' was filled with those who had given the most, opposed to those who had taken the most and stored it away...

Can you imagine a society where the greatest prestige, power, and leadership accord to those with the greatest inclination and capacity to give?

spirit gift.jpg

Imagine that suddenly, people are giving more freely, we do not worry about meeting our basic needs-they are being met and then some, as people are eager to help us meet them and share their gifts! World hunger would cease, as billionaires eager to maintain their 'status' started cleaning out their bank accounts from all their stagnant money!

Business would transform overnight as we would immediately be able to trust one another. We wouldn't have to worry about someone attempting to 'take advantage' of us, as it would literally be impossible to do so in this society. Economic exchanges would only take place when a gift was wanting to be given.

The stress and agony of doing something we didn't enjoy in order to take (the "economic man" going to a 'job'), would disappear!

Imagine if we could focus on what we love and what we'd love to give to others!

We seem to have lost what it means to truly give from the Heart. Not out of obligation, but out of a genuine innate desire to share. I believe all humans are equipped with this desire. I believe that when our needs are fully met, we immediately turn to helping others meet their needs. I know this to be true in my life as I have been fortunate to have created a life where I don't have to 'work' in order to meet my needs. My driving force to create, day-in and day-out is my desire to help spread the gift of freedom and abundance I am given. I have seen this same attribute in many others who, once their needs were met, eagerly sought to share their gifts with the world!

How does it feel to give a gift?

Flash back to when you were a child- the first time you were able to give a gift by yourself- do you remember the feeling? For me, it was an unmistakable feeling of pure joy. It was the moment I recognized my ability to help others feel joy! The feeling was priceless, literally, as all gifts are... It was when I realized that giving was an exchange greater than the sum of it's parts. That when I gave, I could feel just as good, if not better, than the receiver!

santa gift.jpg

A business gift.

What if we could enjoy that pure feeling with every one of our interactions?

I'll tell you a few things... What would happen is that each item we had would be filled with the love of the person who gave it to us! Every item in our house would be a gift, infused with a story, worth more than money could buy! Junk items would disappear, we would waste a whole lot less as we would be much more inclined to repair and re-purpose a gift than some story-less 'thing' we bought. As we could always just buy another...

We would build stronger deeper relationships, and buy less as we shared more. Think of the growing season when we receive gifts from the earth (our gardens), how much more do we treasure that food compared to store bought; doesn't that tomato seem to just burst with flavor? Doesn't our gardens plead for us to share as it tends to deliver in an over-abundance.

Consider the difference between making a meal for friends as a gift and making that same meal as an economic exchange for money. I can tell you from experience, the second meal is of drastically lower quality (nothing compares to a good home-created, love and family infused meal).

Imagine a craftsman who makes a bed frame a work of art for his daughter, but because he has bills to pay, he unfortunately feels he has to quickly and lovelessly (with efficiency) make bed frames for market to sell. What is the difference in quality?

Our world is full with artists of every kind, artists whose true talents are wasted on a market that demands cheap and efficiency. We could live in a world full of gifts, beautifully crafted, and filled with love if we all just simply decided to give more!

Money cannot compete with and can never buy a gift that was given from the heart for free!

I believe there is a universal principle at play:

That when we enter into the Spirit of the Gift; which happens when we no longer stress about survival, when we forget about taking, and focus on giving, the universe collaborates to bring abundance (which was there all along) into our lives!

In order for us to give, it gives to us.

I have experienced this time and time again in my life. The more I give the more I seem to be able to have to give, and the more I am able to keep giving!

I am dedicating my life to seeking to better understand this phenomenon. I am creating tools and systems, attempting to understand and share knowledge knowledge of the gift so that others main gain the confidence to enter into the Spirit of the Gift! By sharing this information and creating systems where this ideology is built in I can better realize the abundance in all our lives! Most of the time all that is needed is a shift in perspective (gratitude) to realize we have more wealth than we thought! Further, some tools help the mind down this path see A Framework For Decision Making to Create a Better Life (Step 1: What Do We Have)

A Gift For Yourself

If this resonates with you, I offer you a simple invitation. Next time when you feel inclined to give a gift, instead of simply being a consumer and purchasing something,- connect with your passion and create a gift from the Heart! Remember your childhood when you didn't have 'money' to drive the economy with, and all you had was gifts from the Heart to give? Create those gifts, and share them with as many people as you can, with no expectation of return (if you don't know of a good place to give them, simply try a street corner, knock on neighbors doors, surprise your whole office)!

If you love painting, paint as many pictures as you can! If you love cooking, create some meals to share. A writer, write poems from the Heart and gift them to people. A graphic designer (or anything technology based), get on craigslist or Simbi (a trade for trade, economy) and create pro-bono. If you're a billionaire, try buying up as much old growth forests as you can and preserve them! These gifts don't have to be only for humans, you can adopt a lonely animal, plant a tree, clean up garbage, defend a waterway... Whatever it is that you're best at, or that you love, do that and do it well! Try not to just buy some 'thing', but create gifts! You'll find through this exercise that you will get as much, if not more, in return for your giving (being careful to remember that not everything comes back as we expect it to.) As giving is not a zero-sum game.

Remember, the more you give, the more you have to give! The more you love, the more you have to love!

*Sharing your intentions with others, not only gives other people ideas, but also solidifies your commitment! Feel free to comment here what you intend to gift, and feel free to share the experience! :)

In fact, as the spirit of the gift entails, anyone who participates in this gift exercise and shares their experience will get a gift from me! As I'm likely limited in possibilities (given the distance) I'll gift it in writing or currency. The choice is yours, share a comment or link to a post (if you write one) to receive it! :) I'll give gifts at the end of the week!

gift economy.jpg

No need to worry, I'll be doing more detailed posts on how we might create this reality :)

The reality of 'The Spirit of the Gift' is made feasible by:

Living in a system where our needs are met effectively and collaboratively (Our NeighbourGood)

Utilizing A currency that opens the ability for gifts to be more valuable than money. (Challenging the Old Money Gods (Including Bitcoin)! A New Crypto-Currency for a New Society!)


Word-Smithing New Societies


Our NeighbourGood and The HEART Collaborative


oh wow rieki! i LOVE this post so much !
GUESS what i suggested last night to the ecoTrain as our question of the week!??

"What's the best present you’ve ever given and why?

I wonder what story you would write!>
I heard from @heart-to-heart that you want to join the ecoTrain! That is great news,, .. especially after reading this post! ;-)

Please do email me on [email protected] and we can chat a little ;-)

@eco-alex Here I am reading this great post and as NO surprise to me, here you are. @rieki You two are meant to befriend. Be well.

aedrobert.. very cool message! i love these little bits of fairy dust

And friends we are :)

Yes, I would love to be involved! It sounds like an amazing initiative and I would love to take part! @heart-to-heart gave me the information on it! I'll send you an email now :)

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nice post dear,,

Oh I love this. Welcome to Ecotrain :)

Thank you :)

If I write my intentions of gifting anything, it would be in expectation of receiving something in return from you. So I'd better not write about it 😊

I think no one had commented their intentions probably because of this reason. A surprise return gift would have been better. So my suggestion is to delete that return-gift commitment here. Perhaps, a surprise gift would work better. I dunno. But I liked your article. May I send you a small tip! here?

Thank you so much for the gift and for your thoughts!

I think you bring up a great point. One that I believe often idealizes gift economies to the point of non-existence. I hear often that 'gifts' come with no expectation and are best when anonymous.

I believe gift economies only work if there is complete trust and understanding that any gifts you give will be met with return gifts. This understanding could be material (in the form of me offering a return gift) or spiritual (with an understanding that the universe never leaves a gift unnoticed).

Then how is it a gift? Well, first the quantity/value is determined by the giver, not the receiver. In a complex gift society gifts would circulate (pay it forward) and since these societies were small enough they always knew it would be paid forward back. If I had a big enough community on Steemit, my approach would have been to simply encourage people to pay-it-forward or to gift each other in the comments. Since this is not the case I wanted to create that tangle of obligation (relationship) by offering a return gift (unspecified) so I could decide what I would like to give per-person :)

How interested would you be in giving a friend a gift for his birthday each year if he had never given you a gift on yours?

Yes, it's a gift. Yes, our society says it comes with no obligation. But, that is not the point. Obligations connect us. They create relationships. The problem with our money system is the lack of obligation as every transaction becomes equal on the spot. So, this limits the connections and relationships made possible within gift economies.

I hope this gives a bit more insight into my philosophy and reasoning :)

Thank you again for the gift!

Thank you @rieki for such a beautiful explanation!

But since I don't share the same philosophy, I couldn't relate to it so far. I really hate the burden of obligations which I'm loaded on in the name of gift. I love to give and receive gifts with no-obligations attached. Otherwise, it's almost a business or a zero-sum trade.

Honestly speaking, I have never felt comfortable visiting places which operates solely on the basis of gift economy esp. the ones which don't even mention the recommended price. As you said, the giver determines the quantity / value of the gift being given. But as a receiver, I don't have any idea of that value or pehaps it's not as much valuable to me as it was to the giver. So I won't be obliged in the equal proportion. So when I make a return gift according to my valuation of that gift (i.e. I undervalue it) and which in turn is again evaluated and assigned a further lower value by its receiver; imagine how much dissatisfaction and sourness it can bring to the mutual relationship.

Same applies when the gift is over-valued. And in most cases, if not all, gifts are either under-valued or over-valued. Now to your question:

How interested would you be in giving a friend a gift for his birthday each year if he had never given you a gift on yours?

I dunno how you label gifts. But I'd always be interested to gift a friend with respect to the bonding I've with him or her. For me, friendship itself is a gift. It doesn't matter when my friend gifts me. And I don't expect it to be on my b'day only. A relationship itself is a gift which is difficult to quantify. It keep exchanging several intangible gifts continuously. I don't look for a specific timing to deliver a gift. My experience so far has been that intangible exchanges creates a stronger bonding than tangible exchanges.

No offense to you but I actually hate this concept of:

I believe gift economies only work if there is complete trust and understanding that any gifts you give will be met with return gifts

I'd never love to receive such a gift. But I respect your philosophy and an intention to create a strong relationship. I've been fortunate enough to receive so many gifts from so many known and unknown people that I don't think I can ever pay them back or to anybody else.

For me gift is like an absolute love beaming towards everyone without an expectation that you would be loved similarly in return. When you love in expectation to be loved in return, sooner or later you would meet some level of frustration. That's how I see things. Just wrote to let you know my understanding of the system. No doubt, I may be wrong. Whatever works for you is good for you. Keep spreading smiles!

"Thank you @rieki for such a beautiful explanation!"

And thank you :)

As it turns out, I actually completely agree with everything you said! The fault in on me for not distinguishing the difference between 'the spirit of the gift' and 'gift economy'.

What you describe is my feelings towards the spirit of gift giving and chose to operate as such.

"Same applies when the gift is over-valued. And in most cases, if not all, gifts are either under-valued or over-valued."

This is why I don't actually advocate for a full gift economy and advocate for gifts to coincide with a new monetary system which I addressed with Our NeighbouGood Coin!

"My experience so far has been that intangible exchanges creates a stronger bonding than tangible exchanges"

Wholeheartedly agree!

What you speak of is the contradiction between an effective gift economy and the spirit of the gift. Which is why I believe there are no successful gift economies operating today. Also, which is why I don't advocate for large (or even medium) sized gift economies...

Thank you for your beautiful thoughts, and thank you for helping clarify my thoughts on the matter too and help to create a better distinction between the spirit of the gift and a gift economy. :)

Sorry, tip! post ed here.

Hi @rieki! @xyzashu is sending you 0.101 SBD tip and @tipU upvote :)

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Sounds so much listening to my mom, after her reiki workshops! :) but that's a great piece of writing. Very motivational.

Sounds like a wonderful mother to be able to inspire you :) Thank you!

The best in the world! :)