In this time of reinvention, what we pay for, what we give away, what we exchange is changing fast.
I’ve only at the lovely age of 50 started to get my head around my deeply ingrained issues about money, value and returns.
It is in my nature to do a whole bunch of things for free, give away my expertise, ideas and time.
But sometimes I have ended up wondering why I do that. Is it to make a difference for others, or to make myself feel good.
Hmmmm, it really is something to think about. What do we do for others and why. In the area of storytelling, what do we share for free versus sell? Or exchange. And what value do we put on these exchanges and ourselves?
This has really come home to me on two occasions just lately where goods and services I received were part of the so called ‘gift economy’ so I paid what ever I liked for them. This is more confronting than one might think.
What is something really worth to us? Instantly I went to calculating what it costs to produce and offer these services; in one case a Vipassana meditation course, another some food at the Wise Cicada cafe in Auckland that runs on gifts and no charges. But what was more valuable was to stop and think what the value of these things was for me, and how much did I want to support the enterprises that were ‘doing good’ for others.
The whole process of thinking about value and exchange is getting really important, as our material world seems to be blowing out.