Much of our world is based on exchange be it monetary or some other way of giving to get. Capitalism in particular has honed this belief so strongly that many now expect such returns for almost everything they do. We are loosing our connection to something more powerful and enduring that operates in the world all the time.
We were all gifted this amazing experience called living a human life on a planet that, in theory, has everything we need to survive, air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat. They were all here, have always been here, it is how we came to be.
The problem is that over time these free gifts have been corrupted by the modern ways of life. What was once free is now harnessed in the pursuit of profit. We rely on others to provide us with the means for survival and in return we pay.
Only the few remaining indigenous people on earth are still living in the economy of gift. They take what they need from the land and if there is an exchange, it is that they in turn protect and care for that land. But the exchange is not a giving this, to get that, sort of endeavour, it is one based on respect for the cycles of life, for the interdependencies that exist.
Like the birds feasting on the berries in my hedge. The hedge does not say “Hey, wait a minute I want something in exchange for those.” But we know it will have it’s seed spread and so the cycle of life will continue.
The spiritual idea that our needs will be met is now often seen as laughable, we all know we have to pay, right? There is no way we can leave it to chance or luck. We HAVE to make sure we get it now and to do that we need money. Hard on those who do not have such bounty, tough of those who’s supplies are cut off or destroyed, for those whose circumstances mean they have none. What then?
Then we turn to charity. We humans also have a huge capacity for caring and gifting of ourselves in service to others. We do this because we know it has value.
So finally, how does this relate to my “free” gift?
I have been told I must have a free gift to “get” people to sign up to my website mailing list. So I did what I was told, I created my Simple Healthy Breakfast Guide, but it never sat right with me.
This week I found myself following links which purported to offer me a free report. Just when I thought it was about to be given I was confronted with a pop-up box asking for my details. I could feel a rage inside,
“Don’t tell me it’s free when it patently obviously IS NOT.”
Free in my book means without charge, but there is a charge, I have to give you my email address.
This finally flicked my switch. I don’t care any more that the business gurus tell us we have to have a “free” gift to get people on our mailing list and that our mailing list is everything. I will not engage with this anymore. If you want my free gift, have it, I offer it unconditionally for you to do with it what you wish. It is information I want to share. I do not want it to be attached to my need for something from you.
If you want to sign up to my mailing list then sign up, but honestly, unless you like having things land in your inbox, you are probably better following me on Facebook if you want to know what I’m up to.
My gift is free, truly given as an act of service in the world.
I want the word to change. I want to live in a different way, to stop buying in to the industrial growth capitalist system we have created. I want to believe that I live in an interdependent world where my needs and your needs can be met.
I want to gift to you because I believe what I have to offer has value and if it is to be of use it needs to be out there in the world. Although it may seem simple I believe that changing what you eat for breakfast really can change your life and change the world.
Why would I withhold that in any way?
I receive many gifts in my life and that they do not need to come directly from you. I believe that I can give to you, you will give to someone else and so on until somewhere in the cycle of life I will receive.
I love what Joanna Macy has to say:
“The greatest revolution of our time is in the way we see the world. The mechanistic paradigm underlying the Industrial Growth Society gives way to the realization that we belong to a living, self-organizing cosmos. General systems theory, emerging from the life sciences, brings fresh evidence to confirm ancient, indigenous teachings: the Earth is alive, mind is pervasive, all beings are our relations. This realization changes everything. It changes our perceptions of who we are and what we need, and how we can trustfully act together for a decent, noble future.”
So I am trustfully acting for a decent and noble future. I am offering something freely to the world, a gesture I hope carries more than the pure words on paper and suggestions made, but also carries within it the possibility for another way, the way of gift.
So if this gift has value for you then please pass that worth on.
Start Your Day The Healthy Way guides can be found here. Below is a link to the first one to get you started. The others are in the pipeline and on their way.