Sunday, 23 October 2011

Just for the Love of it!

Having spent long periods of time out of the country over the years, often in areas that have poor lines of communication in comparison to being back here in the UK, I have sometimes totally missed out on some of the news stories that have taken place in my absence.
It is only this week that I have heard of the “Moneyless Man”.  Mark Boyle was someone who set himself the challenge to live a whole year without spending a penny - this was back in 2008 - and as far as I know he is still living the same way.  I am reading his book (of the same title) at the moment and it is a fascinating account of how he set about and met this challenge, in a World driven by money.
You can find out more about how he achieved this and the ethos behind the challenge he set himself at the following website: Just for the love of it.
But living without money isn’t the most interesting part of the story, it is the ‘community’  that he has set up both online and in the real world.  His Freeconomy is a place where you can offer any skill, a tool, a space in you house, just about anything to anyone else within the community.  It costs nothing to join the community and anything you offer on there is for free , expecting nothing in return (just for the love of it).  And of course you can search and find any skill that you may require yourself - and you would pay nothing for it.
This site isn’t about bartering, it’s about giving.  Giving to your community and to your fellow man.  
On the other hand, the current government has it’s “Big Society”, which is meant to involve local councils, charities and local volunteers running local services  - "What this is all about is giving people more power and control to improve their lives and communities." - but it is seen by many as a cover up for cuts in spending.  The Big Society lacks form and substance and, as far as I can tell, hasn’t really taken off. 
With many people struggling with money at the moment, shouldn’t we be looking at going back to the old style community where neighbor helps neighbor, not for money - a freeconomy - just for the love of it?

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