Nesting: Gift Economy

Have you heard of a gift economy? I hadn’t until reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer. She blends poetry and botany together in a way that is feeding my soul. Inspired by her writing, I compiled a page for the August mastermind gathering I facilitate.

The following quotes and prompted ideas are from September’s book club pick: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013, Milkweed Editions of Minnesota)

“A gift creates ongoing relationship.” – page 26

“In the gift economy, gifts are not free. The essence of the gift is that it creates a set of relationships. The currency of a gift economy is, at its root, reciprocity. In Western thinking, private land is understood to be a ‘bundle of right,’ whereas in a gift economy, property has a ‘bundle of responsibilities’ attached.” – page 28.  Rights and Responsibilities are the R in the POWER of NO model in my book NO! (Jana Kemp)

“When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become.” – page 31

“Ritual of Respect: the translation of reverence and intention into action.” – page 35         What is your ritual of respect? What rituals of respect exist in your workplace? Home?

What is our responsibility to our gifts?  – prompted by page 37.

“Gratitude doesn’t send you out shopping to find satisfaction; it comes as a gift rather than a commodity, subverting the foundation of the whole economy. That’s good medicine for land and people alike.” – page 111

“’You can’t take something without giving back. This tree takes care of us, so we have to take care of it.’” – John Pigeon quoted on page 150

“Collectively, the indigenous canon of principles and practices that govern the exchange of life for life is know as the Honorable Harvest.” – page 180 followed on page 183 with the thirteen “guidelines”

Polynesia is known for its gift economies (page 187).  

“… a harvest is made honorable by what you give in return for what you take.”  – page 194

“Reciprocity is an investment in abundance for both the eater and the eaten.” – page 200

“…to carry a gift is also to carry a responsibility.” – page 211     Reminds me of Lagniappe = something given as a bonus or extra gift. Origin: Louisiana French, from Spanish la napa

“Here you will give your gifts and meet your responsibilities.” – page 215

2020 is the beginning of a Decade of Your Life! Consider:

What gifts can you share? What is your responsibility to these gifts?

Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for and creation of a deep sense of home. Also, enjoy browsing for fun, for gifts, and for joy-spreading possibilities. ~ Jana

Jana Kemp

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