Assets and the Giving Economy

On Saturday 19 year old Alex looked at the Asset Inventory on the wall at the cafe and said “Who’s Ariel?” According to the asset inventory, Ariel is a five-year old who’d like to learn to play piano. “I can teach her,” said Alex.

In Seth Godin’s book Linchpin he talks about a giving economy, where people give to their family, friends and neighbours rather than charge money, or interest. He talks about how this is the way it used to be and that this creates prosperity and abundance for the community.

When Celeste coordinates the Property Angels, when the coaches share their wisdom at the Neighbourhood Business Round Table, when Sarah teaches crafts to kids on Saturday afternoons, they give their time and they enrich their community immeasurably.

There are certainly no shortage of people outside of our community with whom to do business so if the 19 year olds get it, without explanation, without training or courses or workshops on giving, how come it’s so surprising, so novel to the rest of us? How come it isn’t normal?

Maybe it is normal for them. Maybe what this generation, much derided for their lack of work ethic is ushering in is a new-school economy, new-school community. Maybe for these children of boomers who were the centre of our economy, education, lives, from whom nothing was stinted, maybe for them giving is normal.

Maybe without even trying they are ushering in a giving economy.

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