As we close ourselves into our houses and contemplate the future, it’s a good time to invoke a new economy based on better values than the one we’re so familiar with. This is my starting point.
The new economy is based on generosity.
In order to be generous to each other, each one of us needs to be able to receive and to give freely, without fear of losing or becoming less than someone else.
Generosity is the nature of who we are. When we’re relaxed and connected with ourselves we love to give. We also love to receive, if we can give ourselves permission. Children love to receive presents. Adults love to be paid. We all love a windfall or a surprise act of generosity.
All economies are fundamentally a way of enabling the process of giving and receiving between human beings. The important thing about the new economy is the spirit in which we give and receive.
We’ve become used to a way of acting around money as if it’s scarce, difficult to come by and limited. If I have more, then by definition someone else has less. This makes a complete nonsense of generosity. In some strange inner calculation, it has become a sign of generosity that you give without paying attention to receiving.
If we all give, but reject what others give to us, we live in a lonely world without any flow. Equally, if we become so focused on receiving that we’re afraid to pass on what we have to others, we become insecure and greedy and that is the opposite of generosity.
Flow is the movement of human gifts through the world, as we each share what we can give into the common wealth of the human family. There is enough for all of us because we can all give something, and we all need to receive from each other.
In the new economy every participant, from the very young to the very old, is encouraged, supported and educated to understand the fundamental principle of generosity as the glue of human society. They also understand that what they have to give has value for others and is worth sharing generously.
This is simple stuff. Children can move through clear stages of learning and development to become generous in their thoughts, feelings and actions by the time they become adults.
The spirit of generosity shapes wiser, more conscious decisions, a more mature society and an environment in which we can feel safe to express our true selves openly. It may feel new for us, but we’re naturally primed for it, so it could be easier to enter then we might imagine.
An economy that springs from generosity is worthy of investment at every level.
Note: I wrote this last week, before most countries started locking down. It seems to me that our current situation is training us very quickly for this new economy. Let’s remember this when we become more economically active again.
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