Mark Boyle’s book The Money-Less Man has been one of those.
Mark, who started the Freeconomy community did an experiment to see if he could live for a year without any money. He believes that it is our use of money, and the lifestyles we’ve built around it, which is what really causes the most damage to the earth. This book, The Money-Less Man, is a record of his year.
What moved me the most about this story is Mark’s dedication and integrity in setting up his experiment and courage in carrying it out. He’s really trying to make a difference. Throughout the book he makes us think how we can make a difference too, even in small less dramatic ways. He is not asking that we all go to the same extremes as him. But what he is doing is raising awareness of the desperate need for change to our wasteful and destructive habits which are ruining our planet.
What I also love about it and his Freeconomy website is his concept of ‘giving’ rather than spending. His idea is that rather than using money in payment for the things we need we can use instead other more personal things like skills, or time, or experience. And through the spirit of giving our skills and expertise in payment, not only do we keep our lives more local therefore cutting down on pollution, we also build relationships, friendships, and rekindle old community bonds.
I could really identify with this as having been part of a home educating community we experienced firsthand the idea of sharing skills among us, passing books and materials around, supporting one another in our less mainstream choices. Mark is taking it further and through his website shows us how we can do exactly the same on a national scale.
Personal giving is not based on how much or how little money you have, as with so many other aspects of our society. And giving creates a bond and perhaps a better approach to living together than one where differences in our monetary status are more than likely to drive us apart.
Very poignant in present times!