Community as currency

Community as currency.

This phrase has been knocking around my head for a week. After listening to the Vicki Robin’s interview on Mad Fientist podcast, I was struck by her pivot to focus on resources, specifically

community as a resource that is more valuable as a form of currency than financial wealth.

For days after the interview, I looked for examples of community functioning as currency in my daily life. I came up with less than a handful of examples.

This is not to say that my community is not supportive. In times of crisis, my friends and family  spring to action. As I was writing this post, several dear friends experienced crisis, and I saw how amazingly gracious and supportive our community is.

But still I wondered: why don’t more people help each other in times of non-crisis?

Is it because my community is made up of people with adequate financial capital who don’t want to inconvenience their friends? Is it because we don’t ask for help, and people are unaware of our needs? Or – this may be a stretch – is it because I (and many people around me) have narrowed to definition of need for community as currency to extreme situations only.

How do we create a community that offers supports and helps each other not just in times of crisis but also in the everyday?

Enter the idea of a resource party. Here’s the gist:

  • A group of people who are related by 1-3 degrees of Kevin Bacon gather together
  • Each person writes a specific goal on paper and shares it with the group
  • Then the partygoers offer resources to help achieve the goal

The example used in the article is awesome. A woman wanted to feed a penguin. Someone at the party knew someone who worked at a zoo. The zoo person made a call, and the woman got to feed a penguin. I don’t think that experience would even be available for purchase, but community as capital made it happen.

How would your community be transformed if you threw a resource party? What would you write down as your goal?

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