Tuesday, February 7, 2012
First of all, I want to thank everyone that “chipped in” to help me meet my most basic needs this month—the unexpected perks, aside from being able to pay my rent, included overflowing feelings of love, gratitude, hope, support, and all that hippie stuff (which as you all know, are quite contagious!) In addition to contributions made by some of you (and by some of you whom I have never even met in person!!! Even made some new kick-ass friends!), there has been overwhelming support for the whole IDEA of utilizing OUR Community Banks!
In the process, I have been introduced to several more wonderful economic gift/share options, such as Villages.cc which is a platform for communities to share/exchange their skills and services, without the use of money! And because there are a lot of Paypal haters out there (I understand!), I have also learned about another alternative way to share our money (as well as sell some of our crafts!) at WePay and then, of course, there is also Dwolla.com.
It has always been MY direct experience (and not some hippie axiom) that in the midst of perceived chaos, that such situations bring out the BEST in people. And here, I have MORE proof!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Need money? Ask YOUR Community Bank! A radical new way to share Our Money with the people we love (and no amount is too small!)
Did your car just break-down, or your laptop crash? Does your dog/child/sister need medical attention, but you don’t have any health insurance? Did you get a parking ticket in San Francisco and now you can’t pay your internet bill? Do you need help paying your heating bill? Did a random rock crack your windshield? Did you loose your iphone/camera/a contract? Are you $200 short of rent this month? Whatever! At some point, in everyone’s life, we (meaning the 99%) need some extra money.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if when we needed this money (which may be big to you, but small to your friend)--instead of going into survival/stress mode (which physically, emotionally, and spiritually affects you and everyone around you in a negative way)-- you would be able to give a “shout out” to YOUR Community Bank? In response, YOUR Community Bank, the people who know and trust you, can “chip in” to help—if and when and as much as they can, or want? With no awkwardness (some people have problems asking for help), no drama (no one is keeping score!), no credit checks, no applications, no loans, no interest, and without relying on any outside body, corporation or banking institution—or GOD/Buddha/Allah/Vishnu forbid, the pawnshop?!
Who or what is YOUR Community Bank?
Well, in all brevity, it is everyone you know! Your immediate and extended family, your circle of friends (including your virtual friends—aka, FB, Twitter, etc.), your peers, and who knows? Maybe some people from your friends’ friends? Starting with your own family, friends and peer colleagues-- combining “crowd-sourcing”, “pay it forward”, gift/share economy, and tangible love and appreciation directly for your family, friends and yourself—I am calling it “The Community Bank.” In YOUR Community Bank, everyone you know is a potential GIVER, and everyone is equally a potential recipient, or RECEIVER. *My ultimate goal is to change capitalism as we know it, and I think everyone agrees the current system is not working for, well, at least 99% of the population ;)
We all know people struggling to meet relatively small demands (it might be YOU, right now!)—an internet bill, an outstanding medical bill, food for your dog, school supplies for your child, etc. (*some of you also have BIG needs like cancer treatments and legal battles—the Community Bank is for you too!) Most people I know have been living in “survival mode” over the past couple of years, scraping to pay relatively small bills (mortgages, medical bills, rising food costs) and whatnot—and have become trapped in the media-fed “scarcity-thinking” mentality, and then, we started hoarding our pennies—which basically stops the flow of cash. We are all seeing and feeling this cash-flow halt on a global scale right now. We need to get the money flowing again and why not start with empowering and supporting our own family, friends and peers first?! (Just think, if EVERYONE used their Community Bank, wouldn’t that just about cover everyone in the world?!!!!)
Wouldn’t it be awesome, if we could say to OUR Community Bank: “Hey Friends! My car broke down yesterday, and I just need $ X to pay for it…can I cash in on OUR Community Bank? “ And then, those friends who have $10 or $20, whatever to spare at that moment in time, would say, “Wow! I have been there, broken-down car sucks—here, I will paypal you $10! Hope this helps!” Yes, of course-- every bit helps—no amount is too small! And every dollar helps not just on the material/physical plane, but also on the mental/spiritual plane—don’t make me get all hippie/Abraham Hicks/Law of Attraction/The Secret /Deepak Chopra on you!
Of course, no one is ever obliged to respond to a “call to the Community Bank”, you only do give when you can or if you want. And since everyone in YOUR Community Bank is a family member, friend or peer, the Community Bank is self-governing and cannot be abused (and if it were abused, well, we would ALL know it—wouldn’t we?!) In other words, if we felt someone is asking ALL the time…then we simply don’t have to give anything—no drama.
Think of it…no interest, no applications, no fees, no loans, no federal bank bullshit, no credit checks, no stress, no evictions, none of our friends or family go hungry or without medicine they need…we take care of ourselves by sharing what we can, when we can! So let’s say, I put a shout out NOW to MY Community Bank and say, “Hey, I need to pay FEB rent and my bills this month!” (This is true, by the way!) And 100 people from My Community Bank (which is you) send me $10 each, I am totally covered—and then I can search for a more stable, secure income without the stress of worrying about a possible eviction.
And what if MORE than 100 people respond with $10?, you ask… Well, this means I have surplus! And if I have surplus that means when YOU put a shout out to OUR Community Bank, then I can send you money! Or better yet, it means I can go afford to go to YOUR workshop, or buy YOUR art, or YOUR food. Do you see how this works? !
Really, I think it is THAT simple. I look at all 1000+ of my FB friends as part of MY Community Bank—and this does not mean you have to participate at all! But imagine if everyone started looking at their family, friends and peers as part of their Community Bank—we could all tangibly help one another meet our basic needs. And when our basic needs are met, we have the time, energy and space to create more abundance for ourselves, our families, our friends, and with more abundance, we can support local businesses, which boosts the local economy…and so on, and so on.
In the Community Bank, we help one another with whatever, whenever we can share—without any corporations/outside monies bound—and ultimately, we are all held accountable by our own friends, family and peers. Let’s start now. It is that easy. It is ridiculous that a family member, friend, or peer not be able to meet their basic needs. This is all about pulling our resources together to empower and support one another in all our awesome work and being—keeping it “in the family”, so to speak—and out of the hands of corporations, banks, and other institutions. I also see how this can ultimately strengthen relationships, really bring communities together (as opposed to widening the Have and the Have-Nots), benefit local businesses, and well, you know bring world peace...but that is a whole other blog.
Let’s begin! Start with sharing this idea EVERYWHERE, starting with your family, friends, and peers!