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Forum Post: Gift Economies - The Link to Humanity

Posted 2 years ago on April 23, 2012, 3:27 p.m. EST by jph (2652)
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Here is an excellent article explaining Gift Economies;

http://truth-out.org/news/item/8650-the-link-to-humanity-gift-economies

"All of Coumba Toure’s work is aimed at keeping African values alive. As part of this, she is deeply involved in a women-led movement to keep the gift economy thriving. West African gifting is based on the interrelated values that all humanity is linked and that one’s well-being is only as strong as that of one’s neighbor. Profit and exchange are trumped by a commitment to care for community. ... Here we judge people by how much they give. Even if the person doesn’t have much, someone will say, “That’s a good person, an extraordinary person.” In other countries, the measure is that the person has a lot, not that they give a lot. But for us, if you have a lot and you don’t give it, what is it good for?"

  • Coumba Toure | Bamako, Mali

[edit] Some great links and suggestions for promoting humanity not greed, are at the end of this article;

www.timebanks.org

www.neighborgoods.net

www.ussen.org

www.gift-economy.com

6 Comments

6 Comments


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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20502) 2 years ago

Great post, jph.

The things we can learn from traditional Africa are very profound. Traditionally there, "Who you are is very much defined by how much you give to others." Not by how much stuff or money you've accumulated.

But, sadly, the modern world is changing this and "Sometimes, trying to be safe becomes almost madness: when people are so afraid of losing things, of not being taken care of, then they’re not able to give anymore."

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Yes the culture has been heading in a tragic direction of too long,. we really do need to work on pushing back on a culture of fear, scarcity, and war. We can return to a culture of community, abundance, and peace, it is a simple choice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7criyE09uy0

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20502) 2 years ago

Well said and great little video. I choose love!

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 1 year ago

love is surely stronger, and much more fulfilling.

Notice the links at the end of the article, many great projects that promote humanity not greed!

www.timebanks.org

www.neighborgoods.net

www.ussen.org

www.gift-economy.com

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (20502) 1 year ago

Those are great links! I did miss them, so thank you very much. It's amazing what some people are doing.

[-] 1 points by nickbor (9) 1 year ago

The gift exchange economy is by far the most ethical type of economy, and I hate to point it out but much of the internet is in the form of gift exchange, so we know it can work. Truly everything and everyone is connected, so ones happiness depends on an others happiness. Doing something for another because it is the right thing to do creates mutual happiness. The longer money or something similar exists the longer humanity will be unhappy. The longer we will deal with injustice. Many people think that acquiring more will make them happy when it is an insatiable hunger for more which makes us unhappy. And some think that if I just had this or that then I can be happy, but once someone gets what they want they fear loosing it, and this fear creates unhappiness. But if ones goal is to give to another then there is no fear of loss. I feel bad for those whom think the purpose in life is to acquire things. We have to deal with this problem of whats important in life...Stuff or people. The way to view both as important is the gift exchange economy.