I have a cake in my kitchen, and it all started with a book cover. It went like this—I volunteered some time to provide book cover graphics for a non-profit organization that sells books to small stores in Nigeria. Their founder went to Nigeria to visit these stores and brought back a ton of beautiful beads for me. I made some earrings with these beads. My neighbor liked them, so I gave her two pair. In exchange, she baked a pound cake that rivals any Sarah Lee you could buy (she'll know what that means).
The Salvation Army is getting a small donation to one of their posts in California. It went like this—I like/love/need to write, so I wrote an article for my local newspaper about the need for us to volunteer. A man in California read it and asked if I would help an elderly man by gathering local nuts for him to give to friends. I gathered a box full of nuts and shipped them after finding them on property owned by the Salvation Army. I shipped them out, and now the man in California has agreed to making a donation instead of paying the shipping cost.
Bartering should become the new currency, especially since currency is getting scarce. Every one of us has something we can give to someone else even if we get nothing back in return. But imagine if we did get something back in return like a cake or a donation to charity? I doubt we could pay our heating bills or fuel our cars or pay our taxes through bartering, but given the current economic situation, I'm inclined to revert to this timeless way of exchange.
What can you give? Would you exchange it for a pair of earrings?