Giving vs. Taking

Posted on June 3, 2013


I just started reading “The moneyless Manifesto” and I felt compelled to write a blogpost.

Money promises that, if only we acquire enough of it, we can be independent. We can be independent of the people around us: “I don’t need their help – I can pay for whatever I need.” We can be independent of the nature around us: “If the water is polluted, I can buy it in bottles. If the soil is toxic, I can buy organic food from afar. In the worst case I can afford to move away.”

quote from the foreword by Charles Eisenstein.

It’s not my job… I don’t get payed to do it…” You hear this all the time and see people act this way. I find it very provoking when I see people in a store that accidentally makes stuff fall from shelves and they just look at it and keep walking. A similar thing is when grown ups trow all kinds of trash straight on the street with out even thinking twice. As if they say to themselves “it doesn’t matter, someone gets paid to pick that up later anyway”.
By only doing things we get payed for we’re buying ourselves free from responsibility. I think another attitude that leads to this behavior is this “Society doesn’t care about me so why should I care about it“.

We also have a society that focuses more on taking rather than giving. When you have money the choice and power is in your hand. You take what you want if you can pay for it. What if it were the other way around?
My belief is that society should supply everything needed to live and thrive, for free to everyone. When it comes to the products that are produced by single individuals because they like creating them should be exchanged by other terms. All kinds of art works, jewelry, handcrafts, decorations, hand made clothings, delicacies and remedies etc go under this categories. We should here switch the terms. You don’t buy something. You’re given something. The power should be placed in the givers hands, not the receivers, as it is today. You don’t take something, you are given something. The giver determines the terms for what is required of the receiver for him/her to be a candidate to receive this gift. The ground rule should be one of kindness, respect, life supporting and paying it forward philosophy. You have to deserve it by for example doing kind acts to others, help that person out in exchange or maybe someone only gives their art pieces to people who can make others laugh or others who have experienced great suffering and need something to give them hope etc. Giving can also be made just because you notice that someone needs it. Someone needs to experience a genuine act of kindness. Someone needs to feel acknowledged and worth something. Worth someone else’s time and effort. To receive a gift from someone just because you seamed to need some beauty in you life does great things to your self worth. Some times it is the people who seam to least deserve something that need it the most.
This might change the whole way we approach acquiring objects and services. We don’t seek them out. They come to us when we deserve them or need them. The artist seeks our the receivers according to their process of giving. This act of giving something for a specific reason also gives the object or service a higher value to you, the receiver, since you had to deserve it, not just have the money to pay for it. This would really be a way to show genuine signs of wealth. If you have been given many beautiful, hand crafted things, you might possibly have also in turn done a lot of great things. They are also symbols of great moments in life. This system would empower good people and good empathic behavior. Genuinely good people also tend to understand that stuff is not what makes you happy and will most likely not want that much stuff, even if he/she is given it. Then there could be another traditional act of great kindness where people who have, for example received a lot of beautiful artwork, could put them on display for everyone else to admire as well. Give more and we will all have more, is basically the message here.

What we need the most from others isn’t more money so that we can buy what we need. We need someone who listens to us, someone to give us a hug when we feel sad, a helping hand through tough times, advice when we’re learning something new, help to create, help to help others, help to build a roof, help to pick up the things we drop, help to remember the things we forget, help to open that dam bottle, someone to help build a table, help to grow the seasons vegetables, help to play some music, someone to share a laugh with, someone to tell us the truth, Someone to tell us a good story, someone to support our dreams and ambitions, someone to acknowledge our existence, Someone to tell us we matter.
Without the constant goose chase to earn more money, I believe we can free up our time and energy to do really good things for others, without having to sacrifice our own wellbeing.