While my favorite shopping option is Buy Nothing Day (followed closely, in at least two senses, by Buy Local Day – I succeeded with both this year), there are often a few people that we wish to get gifts, but we don’t want to burden with ever-more meaningless stuff.
This list has a nice mix of stuff-less-ness and stuff that at least helps someone and means something:
11 Holiday Gift Programs That Benefit Nonprofits and Make the World A Better Place :: 2011 Edition « Nonprofit Tech 2.0 Blog :: A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits.
Posted in Culture Change, heroes, money culture
Tagged friends, heroes, local, money, politics, resilience, stuff, sustainability, TATA
So I’ve been thinking a lot about “right speech,” and its relationship to what’s been going on in my life and what I should tell people about it (including you, dear blog readers). My friend Judy turned me on to a series of talks about Right Speech practice at Dharma Seed, and I guess it’s been in the background, simmering, for many months now.
The abbreviated version: a brief illness and death in the family.
- If during all this, it was the wrong time to talk about how to make hospitals, not to mention our practices around death and funerals, more life-affirming and sustainable, when was the right time? Why/how did I miss it? Or does that come later?
- I’ve limited who I’ve told about it, with only a few beyond the circle of friends and family that knew the deceased. Was this a thing I should share with my students? All of them, or just a few as it has come up organically?
- I’m still not sure the blog is the right place to talk more about this. How much of the story should I tell here? How relevant is it? If I can’t find the energy to make it relevant, do I put more here just because it’s so hard to write/think about much else now?
I think that silence was the right choice. My voice hasn’t really come back yet, but I didn’t want to stay quiet here for too much longer.
Today I start my side of the dialogue/polylogue(?) with my dear friend Judy. One of the things I love most about Judy is the fact that when we talk it’s mostly big talk – small talk has it’s place, but it’s great to be able to talk about big, serious ideas: death, evolution, liberty, justice, the fate of the world… and we can do that all in an afternoon.
My expectations for this blog are that I’ll be writing here frequently with things that I’m contemplating, so that Judy can respond to those. And that I’ll be reading and responding to Judy’s postings.
So why do this in writing, and in public? I think it’s partly to make it a component of my writing practice (I’m also working on a science fiction novel and a nonfiction book, when I’m not busy teaching), partly to have more opportunities to converse with Judy about the things we’re inclined to discuss, and partly because knowledge (and, on Judy’s side certainly, wisdom) exponentially grows in value when shared.
In case anyone reads this and likewise wants to get into a deeper conversation, one of the things I’ve been pondering lately is economics and money systems: the timing and circumstances of their origins in different civilizations, the cultural variety of their structure and social impacts. I’ve read The Real Wealth of Nations, The Soul of Money, and parts of Common Wealth and In the Company of Strangers (the last two are still on my bookshelf, waiting for me to pick them back up when I have a chance). Like the authors of this post, I am concerned “that at some point, at some level of complexity, at some scale, or at some scope… human institutions like democracy and markets will reach the limits of their effectiveness, and we will be stuck with systemic problems that require a whole new order of solution to resolve.” And yes, I’ve watched Zeitgeist I and II and Money as Debt. If anyone can recommend a book or article with more about the archaeological/prehistorical record of money, especially outside of the Middle East and Europe, I’d be most appreciative.