Our next meeting on August 26 will feature Charles Eisenstein who will guide us through a "Gift Circle". We will meet at 7:00 pm at The Midtown Scholar, in the upstairs gallery.
A Gift Circle is this, as Charles expains:
Periodically, a group of people meet, sit in a circle, and each person takes a turn stating something he/she needs. Others can interject with "I've got one of those" or "I know someone who can do that," etc. After everyone has had their turn, you go around the circle again, this time stating something you want to give. It could be the gift of the use of something (borrowing tools), or a service (help fixing a car), or anything. Finally, you go around a third time expressing gratitude for something you received from the last time.
The intentions behind this are:
1. To build community. Community is woven from gift relationships, which is why community has so atrophied in an era when we pay for everything and get together only to consume things, or sit around talking about how much we agree with each other.
2. To bring less "stuff" into the wastestream. On my street, practically ever house has a complete set of power tools that gets used maybe 5 hours a year. Why produce new things, when there are so many things that are barely used?
3. To save money and reduce our reliance on the money economy.
4. To create and test-drive new modes of economic exchange that will allow us to thrive as the current system falls apart.
coming together and sharing and gifting, building community.
the gift is friendship and community.
round 1: what you need
round 2: what you have to offer
round 3: expressing gratitude
The idea of the gift circle is we come together to share our needs and services. People help each other out with our needs, and offer their services without expectation of getting anything in return. It’s a way of creating a gift economy (which is different than a trade, local currency, or money system).
People have been gifting each other massages, car mechanic help, graphic design services, bean soup, readings, babysitting, computer advice, clothes, veggies, editing, cleaning, places to stay, rides, help moving house, etc.
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