This place is a gift
The place is called “Café Intime”. It´s one of the last places of it´s sort. It´s very old Europe. Gays and artists, free spirited souls, jazz, kisses, deep conversations, subtle sense of humour, outspoken as hell, Ha! To hell with it all!
This woman is a gift.
This woman is called Persille (literally: parsley). She´s an urban farmer, she grows vegetables in her windowsills, she is also a protest singer and then she runs a rather large Facebook page about sustainability.
These people are a gift
These people met to talk about transition, gift economy, change and feelings, man, we need to talk about our feelings!
These people gathered around to send you a christmas greeting. Greetings from Copenhagen.
Just for you.
Marie Goodwin is a woman working with gift economy. She is a writer and a personal assistant to Charles Eisenstein. I think they both do tremendously important work and I really appreciate how they try to articulate gift and sharing economy, the foundations, the challenges, the possibilities. You can read more about gift economy here and Marie wrote a really good introduction to the challenges of running a business in the gift economy. I recommend reading about this. This is something… happening.
Not long ago I asked Marie Goodwin some questions about “the gift of the gift” and these are her answers.
This is also a gift.
Just for you.
Marie gave me her thoughts and perspectives, she gave me a little bit of time and she invested in our relationship by doing this for me… so that I could write this blogpost… for you. I invest in you.
What is a gift, Marie? I sometimes think that we, in our culture, look to the gift as an OBJECT but it could be more than that, right? What do you think a gift is? How do you define it? How do you articulate it? What does it MEAN to give someone a gift?
A gift must fill a need that exists in the receiver’s life, whether or not that need is known or unknown to the receiver. The giver, understanding the need, makes an attempt to fill it.
2) The second is that a gift must create a bond between giver and receiver.
I think both of these things fly in the face of our weird, western attitudes about gift giving. We conflate charity with gift. Charity is giving without a bond and not really knowing anyone’s particular needs. We just give to give. That is an act of generosity, for sure. But it isn’t true gift giving. Living in the gift means being aware of opportunities to fill needs and to create emotional bonds (and receive emotional bonds) through the gift you give.
You have been working “in the gift” for a long time not at least in relation to your work with Charles Eisenstein. I would like to hear about the challenges of this work? And has it changed you?
It is giving out of obligation. Giving because spending money on someone is now seen as what is important, rather than filling actual needs. I do think there is an actual longing for connection, but because we are so disconnected from people in our lives (living remotely from extended family, children spending most of their waking moments away from home and away from adults, not having any community), we don’t actually know what people need. What might be a really appropriate gift… what might build a bond between giver and receiver. We want the bond, but don’t know how to get there.How do you celebrate christmas? How do you give gifts? How do you raise your child to understand christmas?