When I first began to think about the idea of a gifting society I decided to do a social experiment to test the proposition. Simply put the idea of a gifting society is that we are all here to give our unique gifts to this world and to share material wealth as well. A culture that honors and celebrates these principles finds many ways to create abundance that are unimaginable within the capitalist mindset. From huge potlatches to a simple hug of reassurance our lives our enriched by giving and receiving in ways that can never be achieved by taking and even earning.
It was days before my birthday, September 18th, 2001, the world was indeed in a quagmire, fear was rampant, and in my small northern California town we were trying to hold it together as best we could.
An Indian guru once told me that the truth is always sitting right across from the lie. In this world of rampant greed that was now closing in jaws around the world of oil by using a tragedy to hijack the Middle East, I wanted to see if gifting could stand up to greed as the truth that outshone the lie.
My car had just died and I was in need of transpo, so I wrote up this flyer and posted on my fence.
Dear Community, I have been an activist here for many years giving of my time, energy and expertise to serve the integrity of our town.
I believe that we could create a gifting society where we would create abundance by sharing with one another as the primary exchange of goods and energy.
I am in need of a car and would greatly appreciate it if someone who does not need his or her extra vehicle would gift it to me. Yours in Truth, CONTACT Magick
On my birthday I was walking up my block and I saw a Volvo for sale, my car of choice and almost every other middle-aged hippie I knew.
It had a UC Santa Cruz sticker on it where my daughter attended college so I saw that as a sign. (I can’t help it; synchronicities are my only signposts on this uncharted journey!)
I contacted the owner and checked it out, it was perfect. The owner, a kind man who was selling the car because his daughter no longer needed it for college, was asking $1700 for it. I had told myself if I had to I could spend $1500, so I told him that and made the offer, he accepted.
The next day I received a phone call from Luna, a friend of mine, who said she had seen my flyer on the way to our vigil for 911 and she had a friend who would gift me a car. Wow! It worked!
But I had already purchased a car and was not about to reverse the magick of manifestation that had already occurred. Then I remembered that the sister of my daughter Allegra’s dear friend, Jesse Rose, had just returned from Mexico with a newborn baby, no job, and no car. Lisie needed this gift way more than I did, so without skipping a beat, I said would the woman gift the car to my friend? She called me back minutes later and said YES! I called Lisie and gave her my message and she was thrilled!
I felt so deeply rewarded that my first foray into the culture of gifting had immediately resonated in my small town of Sebastopol in ways I could not have dreamed of.
I asked for something and was given the grace to become the giftee having found what I needed in the process. And the principle of paying forward was enacted as well. I thought of the quote, “each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.’ Karl Marx. Communism has yet to truly be understood or tried so for now I will just describe my experience as communion, (sans the religious connotations).
(communio L. sharing in common)
A footnote to this story…
When Lisie no longer needed this car she gifted it a Latino family in our area with three children. This was particularly moving to me, as our Latino community is the invisible labor force on whose back fortunes are made. Karl would’ve liked this part, too.
Let me know if you have a story about gifting you would like to share to continue the season of giving…
For more info google: “gifting societies”