Tag Archives: sharing

printing money.

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Take the Wooden Money

During the darkest days of the Great Depression, the logging city of Tenino, Washington, created a complimentary wooden currency to help locals survive the economic crisis. Now, almost 90 years later, the town is once again “printing money” on postcard-sized sheets of maple to help locals suffering from financial hardship. Pegged at the rate of real U.S. dollars, the currency can be spent everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations and child care centers, whose owners can later exchange them.

“It worked perfectly,” says Tenino’s mayor Wayne Fournier, who offers residents who demonstrate they are experiencing economic difficulties caused by the pandemic a stipend of up to $300 a month in wooden dollars. These currencies aren’t actual replacements of real money. They are complementary currencies — a broad term for a galaxy of local alternatives to national currencies.

According to research published in Papers in Political Economy in 2018, 3,500 – 4,500 such systems have been recorded in more than 50 countries across the world. Typically they are a localized currency that can only be exchanged among people and businesses within a region, town, or even a single neighborhood. Many are membership programs limited to those who have signed up; they typically work in conjunction with, rather than replacing, the official national currency.

They take many different forms. Relatively few are based on paper money; many are purely digital or exchanged via smart cards. Their goals can span multiple economic, social, and environmental objectives. Some aim to protect local independent businesses. Some promote more equal and sustainable visions of society. Others have been founded in response to economic crises when traditional financial systems have ground to a halt. As the coronavirus pandemic brings on a wave of social and economic tumult, all three challenges appear to be in play at once.

In Tenino, which has a population of less than 2,000, the wooden money is printed using an antique 1890 Chandler & Price letterpress. Since the launch in May, cities from Arizona to Montana and California have been in contact with Tenino for advice about starting their own local currencies.

“We have no idea what is going to happen next in 2020,” adds Fournier. “But cities like ours need to come up with niche ways to be sustainable without relying on the larger world.”

“sharing money is what gives it its value.”

-elvis presley

 

credits: story – Bloomberg City Lab, Peter Young. photo – Jason Redmons, AFP

reweaving.

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in recent days

i have seen and read about

 many gestures of hospitality

 one reaching out to another

 with each act

i find a renewed sense of hope.

“hospitality is always an act that benefits the host even more than the guest. the concept of hospitality arose in ancient times when the reciprocity was easier to see: in nomadic cultures, the food and shelter one gave to a stranger yesterday is the food and shelter one hopes to receive from a stranger tomorrow. by offering hospitality, one participates in the endless reweaving of a social fabric on which all can depend – thus the gift of sustenance for the guest becomes a gift of hope for the host.”

-parker j. palmer

 

even more.

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at the songbird cafe

extra pennies left

for those who might need them

along with a tiny paper crane

for those who might need this even more.

 

“a master of origami said he tried to express with paper the joy of life,

and the last thought before a man dies.”

-tor udall, a thousand paper birds

tea.

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met my friend and shared some time and a pot of tea.
“meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. the afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.”
Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea
 

 

 

 

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giving.

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‘help yourself, but please leave bowl. enjoy!’

another friendly neighbor’s offering

left on the steps to their house

 discovered while out walking.

 

 

‘the people who give you their food, give you their heart.’

-cesar chavez

crisp.

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as our temps take a dip into the zero-ish range,

it is good to remember the importance of connection,

the joy of giving to others, and the comfort of the sun.

“it is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake,

the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam.

this crisp winter air is full of it.”

~john burroughs, “Winter Sunshine”

 

painting by: francesca rizzato – ‘Winter’s Tale’

 

 

 

sharing.

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they told santa that they would

make sure to send some cookies along for mrs. claus,

because he usually gets to all of them

and she doesn’t get any treats.

the note is to make sure that he doesn’t forget to share.

 – happy christmas to all –

“sharing the same meal reaffirms kinship.”

– deng ming-dao

 

 

 

photo credit: neel