A crash course in changing the world.
Date: April 4 2020
Location: all over the world
There is a fresh new movement making it's way across the planet, where the elements of the earth, air, water, and the fire of human spirit come together to create a more sustainable, joyful, and peaceful form of commerce. It's the River Bank!
This is no ordinary riverbank, though, it's real community exchange Bank where resources naturally move from where they are overflowing to where they are most useful, using the simplest form of exchange known to life, the gift economy.
People of all shapes, sizes, colors, and species gather at the closest river bank in their community. Or, if they don't have a natural river nearby, they have used biomimicry to create new spaces that add the elements of flowing water, air, earth, and the spark of life, for a similar experience to a real riverbank. People bring their extra resources to offer, and take the resources that they believe will be useful to bringing out the best in themselves. It's all freely exchaged, and everyone is just as excited to find someone who appreciates what they have to offer as they are to get something someone else has offered, because they love their community and see value in sharing gifts with their friends, family, and neighbors.
All along the riverbank, stretching for sometimes up to a couple of miles in some larger cities, everything from fresh produce, to art, to beautifully hand crafted ceramic bowls and mugs, to baskets, to yurts, to electronics made by the Makers Guild, to wh*** meals, is displayed and offered up for the taking at tables, in boxes, floating in boats, and sometimes even hanging from the trees. There is a feeling of excitement, camaraderie, and a slight hint of competition, as people explore and seek out the things they are most in need of, as well as trying to find others who are in need of what they have to offer.
These River Banks have the potential to become the primary means of exchange, with old fashioned stores and money exchanges or barter supplementing the free exchanges at the River Bank. We shall see how this movement grows...
The roots of the River Bank exchanges come from many different places and times in history. The tribal exchanges where the hunters would offer their goods to the rest of the tribe, knowing that the rest of the tribe would be gathering and creating other things they needed are a basic form of gift exchange. And there have been smaller free stores and free "swap" meets in many communities for decades. And, of course, nature herself works with a gift economy, where the plants and animals and elements all give and take in a complex system of the cycle of life.
And the human culture is learning how much more rewarding the natural system of giving and taking is, especially now that the River Banks are becoming so popular, and flowing freely all over the planet.