The title is from Bruce Springstein’s new album. And yes, I agree with him. If my experience is any measure, then “We’ll be all right.”
Yesterday evening, Thea came over to mow my lawn. She’s started a new lawn care business, “Flying Fish: Reliable, Summer-long mowing.” (firstname.lastname@example.org). She said her dad used to have his own business as a handy-man, so she comes by having her own business naturally. (She will also paint houses.)
Sweet Thea arrived in her little car, with three (count ’em) mowers sticking out of the back seat and trunk.
But I didn’t “pay” her. No. She had offered to mow my lawn this week as one of her offerings within our gift circle, which meets every other Sunday evening. I did, however, go into the GANG garden next door to cut some greens, both for salads and stir fries, to place in bags on the front seat of her car. Not that this was an “exchange,” because we don’t do one-to-one exchanges, “trades,” in the gift circle. Instead, each time we meet, we go around the circle and each of us tells first, what we are grateful for now, and then offers both what we need and what we can give into the circle that includes us all.
This is the third economy, beyond capitalism, beyond socialism; we are returning and speeding forward to something very ancient and (to us) brand new: the blessing and honoring of the uniqueness and expression of each individual in community.
We are all so different!
And we all are so similar in wanting to offer who we are, our real, full, abundant selves, to each other!
Each week, our needs and our gifts array themselves into such a massive multidimensional cornucopia that the recorder for that meeting has to constantly race to catch up. So much, so much!
The feeling of abundance among us just grows and grows. It’s hard to describe how wonderful this idea of continuous gifting/receiving really is. You’ll just have to try it for yourselves!
Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from a long, and very worthwhile article that actually dares to ask what might happen if we let go of “jobs.” YES! As one who decided when I was a teenager never to live in a way that deadens the spirit and enslaves the mind and body, I am grateful to see my way of life beginning to “catch on.”
P.S. You might want to read the whole article, and its juicy links.
April 29, 2012
by Frank Joyce
But what have all these fixes, repairs and constant rebuilding of the capitalist engine accomplished? The unemployment rate is enormous. And the rewards, financial and otherwise, of getting and keeping a job are diminishing for millions who can find employment. Students, families and government are carrying staggering debt.
Can anyone seriously look at the job landscape and argue that capitalism is some organic job-creating machine that just needs to be left alone? Is there really some magical new policy or law that can or will make the whole machine hum again? And even if there were, what is the cost of this system? To our ecosystem? To the idea of democracy? To our dignity? To our potential as humans? Just what is so great about a system in which some humans get to be the bosses and most of us get to be the bossed? Is this the best humans can do?
Perhaps most urgently, can the job system grow its way back to health, as so many advocate, when growth itself accelerates and intensifies the threat to the sustainability of life on earth? To many it is increasingly clear that it cannot, will not and should not.
Fortunately, all over the world people are hard at work making a better economy. As Bruce Springsteen sings on his brilliant new album Wrecking Ball: “Jack of All Trades”
There’s a new world coming
I can see the light
I’m a Jack of all trades
We’ll be alright
So you use what you’ve got
And you learn to make do
You take the old, you make it new