I woke up this morning ( too early!) obsessing about the barter fair Sustainable NE Seattle is hosting on October 4 at Maple Leaf Church. For one thing, what do I really have to offer? What do I have excess of? Then, how will we set this up to maximize trading opportunities and more importantly, opportunities to meet new people and strengthen our community. Ideas anyone?
I ran across this on a website for a barter fair that has been going on for years in Eastern Washington....
"The Old Time Trading Circle calls together a diverse group of people interested in this old form of commerce as a living present day activity. Trade or barter is the center of our circle. The closer we can come to this center, the closer we come to each other in a real way. Cash transactions are impersonal and final. We know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Trade connects us to each other in an ancient relationship of mutual trust and respect. We need things and have or make things that others need, but mostly we need each other. We talk, we trust, we trade, we form a community of people, a family learning to live in peace and help each other. We all sometimes need cash to exist in the larger society and keep our gas tanks full, but if we are open to barter relationships, our need for cash will diminish, and our need for community will grow."
It helped me to remember that humans have been trading for many years longer than we have been using money, and that perhaps we can rekindle a bit of that 'ancient relationship' on October 4!