Lesson 5.1 – Show Your Humanity
Gift economies build relationships between people, and can bring diverse communities together through sharing. Being part of a diverse community means exposure to ideas and ways of living that are new and sometimes unexpected. Everyone is welcome in a Buy Nothing community, just as they are. Everyone participates as they choose, giving as they choose, requesting and receiving as they choose, and sharing in ways that work for them. We are all held to the same standards and community norms, but within that, we have room to express ourselves and learn our own lessons. Be yourself, let others be themselves, and expect to expand your understanding of the world and your neighbors as connections grow between you.
Gift economies work best as egalitarian communities. Each community member has equal agency to give, ask, express gratitude, and choose how they connect with others. If you are using a platform for your Buy Nothing community that gives some people power over others, for example as admins or moderators, please see the statement we made regarding the issues you’ll need to address, “What We Learned After 8 Years in Facebook Groups.”
One of our longtime volunteers and Equity Team member, LaTonya M. Baldwin, shares some thoughts about Building Community or Building Walls