Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dana as a transitional strategy

Kellia Ramares-Watson, a freelance journalist and editor in California, is working towards a world without money. Most of us in this position seek strategies for changing the ways we operate in our personal lives. Here's what Kellia's going to experiment with this year in terms of give-and-take for her editing services:
As for price, I am starting the New Year with a new philosophy, for me. Our local Buddhist meditation center has operated for years on the principle of Dana — or generous giving. Basically, it is sliding scale. Consider your own personal financial situation, the length and complexity of the work to be edited, what it might cost in your home country, and your own sense of decency and fairness. Then come up with a figure.

One of the biggest problems with the capitalist pricing system is the fact that it tries to etch in stone a fixed value for something that is, in fact, of variable value, depending on the needs and desires of people who want the thing. The fixed price then creates scarcity, blocking certain people who need something from getting it.

While I am living in a money economy and need more of the stuff — hence the pitch for work — I am also looking for a way to lessen money’s influence on my life. For now, at least, the Buddhist Dana principle seems to be a good answer.
Kellia also has some limitations on the kind of work she takes on (e.g. no indexing) and the amount of work she can do at a time (e.g. no rush jobs) so that work does not adversely impact her health, which is very sensitive to stress. But Kellia is willing to hear what each person has to offer, and to consider each project individually. You can email her: theendofmoney@gmail.com

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