The Gift Economy

 By:  Layla Fagroovy

Date:  06-08-2020

0 Love

“Not all of us can do great things. But, we can do small things with great love.” (Mother Teresa)

Throughout her life, Mother Teresa was guided by compassion which she embodied through serving “the poorest of the poor.” While not all of us are saints, a single word or even a hug can embody compassion towards another. It’s the random acts of kindness that make a difference in the lives of everyday people.

Giving is one of the five languages of love. Relationship-counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman, talks about this in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Dr. Chapman writes that people express feelings of love through the giving of gifts to their partners and loved ones.

The positive feelings that gift-giving fosters drives economies. Simple acts of giving contribute to a gift-economy, which is based on the exchange of gifts or services without making a profit. It shows up during holiday merriment, the giving of alms, community organizing, and more. By participating in a gift economy, we receive intangible rewards such happiness, gratitude, sense of community and self-worth.  

A lot of things that we use money for we’d probably be happier if we met those needs on an informal, local level,” says Charles Eisenst­­­­ein, author of Sacred Economics. He believes that by going back to a more local, gift-based economy, we can help combat the feelings of alienation in society and stop the destruction of communities under our current system of capitalism.

The advent of the Internet has paved the way for many novel and innovative opportunities to participate in the gift-giving economy. The free exchange of information and ideas are part of the original ethos of the Internet. There are many resources available to us to participate in this alternative economy, and SimplyWishes provides a platform to do just that. We have the power to shape our global village to be inclusive for all its villagers, to give freely, and make an economy out of giving.