Economy as it is seems to be failing. People are buying less, and whether this is because they cannot afford it, because of a rise in the minimalist mindset, because of sustainability or other million possible reasons is not the point of this post.
People are spending less.
Especially younger generations (with opposite trends for the older.. maybe due to old habits?). And yes, online shopping might have taken over , but actually the trends in many countries are still that people are spending less.
I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing but of course it has its impacts as less money circulating means there are less money to spend and it all goes in a vicious circle. But thinking about it , as a friend put it: money are just some pieces of paper. In his words 'We could just crack the economy by pressing print and here we go, money to spend for everyone'. While I am not entirely sure on how that would work , the idea that I have no idea about how money work made me question the fact that money are really just a big artefact of this society. Yes we need to eat, need clothes on our skins to keep us warm, need a roof on our heads and some heating to keep us warm. But who says that we need money in order to get all of these things? Why cannot we just go back to an exchange system? I would like to see a shift in our economy towards a service exchange, and i'd like this to be done in a way that is equal and treat everybody as equal...
In a way, this is sharing. I share my harvest of fresh vegetables with you, you share your bread. I share my fields for your sheep in exchange for a bit of cheese every month. This can be done for the simple things but I think some ways can be found to take the system up to higher levels (from gas and energy to doctor visits and lawyers, though maybe we would need less of the latter..)...
They say sharing is caring and it’s true. The term sharing economy however has been abused and misused. Thinking about it, things like 'Airbnb' and 'Uber' are marketed under the sharing economy umbrella, but there is very little real sharing and profits are made. Profit and sharing should not be used in the same sentence. Sharing as I mean it here shouldn’t involve any profits. It can start from simple, easy things that already exist and can make our daily lives a bit better , like car sharing - sharing the costs of fuel and tolls, or house swapping for holidays. I love 'couchsurfing' where you open your house to share with travellers, which in turns might share some of their cooking skills with you, or some inspiring stories or whatever it is that they have in their ‘bag of tools’. Honestly in two years that I had my house open I never had a bad experience and I learnt so much from the travellers I hosted. You can share in your daily life in other ways, think about sharing clothes with a friend or family member of a similar size. Clothes swaps are also a form of sharing , and just last week I went to one. I feel that I have an entirely new wardrobe, even though I just swapped 5 pieces that were just sitting there unused because I didn’t feel good in them. I would love to see other things being shared, like sport equipment - especially when it is bulky. Imagine the scenario: maybe I live at the coast but have to go to work while someone who is free and passing by might want to go in the water for a surf or a paddle, I could give them my board (and I will know it will get back , in one piece and even in better conditions that I gave it out because that person will be so grateful that it will treat it with utmost respect. We have to start trusting each other again for this to work). And maybe sharing will not bring back anything immediate but kindness and openness will lead to more kindness and openness, and being open to it will allow to see and find opportunities for sharing. So in order for it to work we need to step out of the immediate reward mentality that we have grown to be so obsessed with.
Do you agree ? Did I convince you to start sharing ? What would you start with?
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