Heart currency

To our good friends–

This complementary currency stuff holds promise to me of worth of the people on the margins, because we can value their efforts, creativities and extras. They smile, they point out beauty, they love. This is all of us. Their art—storytelling, music, meaning, wisdom—is valued to the point of giving currency and flow. They are part of us, part with us. So when they pick up litter from the street, or smile for us in the grocery, we give them something from our heart.

Heart currency perhaps this is.

Giving money is crass, beneath the dignity of the persons involved in the intercourse.

This changes how people think. This changes how people interact. This changes how people see one another. It changes all this because it causes us to look at one another and our essential movements anew. We see the heart of another in the little extras they give us. It is extra currency. It is extra notice we give, extra attention. As a result we are paying extra value. To others, to ourselves.

I guess I am seeing this as a way to sustain my wife and I after we can no longer “work.” What is work? This causes us to redefine this word. It is no longer a 4-letter word, but bigger than this. It is no longer a commercial exchange, but a human exchange: We see each other, we exchange our humanity in gifts bestowed, not favors bought. The value of each of us goes up. We say “You can eat because you have been loving to me. I can eat your love for me. I can live on that for a week.”

So could people make a living, and a life, doing primarily complementary currencies? What could that look like?

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on April 14th, 2006 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On April 14, 2006 at 8:31 pm tedernst Said:

    This is beautiful, Doug. Thanks!

  2. On April 15, 2006 at 3:50 pm christy Said:

    “heart currency” makes me think of a “heart current” — electricity that signals the living tissue to beat and move — the subtle energy that passes between living hearts and is translated by our sensitive systems into feeling and emotion

    yes, thanks, Doug!

  3. On April 17, 2006 at 10:34 am doug Said:

    Ted and Christy–

    Thank you, each, as well!

    Currency does partake of the notion of current, energy, flow. I like the word course, as in something coursing through our veins. Except that it is between and among people, so that means intercourse is a better word, whether you see it with the sexual tones or not. It is Cziksentmihalyi’s Flow taken to the level of the interpersonal.

    :- Doug.

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