Posts Tagged With: life

The Business of Free

freeth world free website design and other services

My original post can be found at http://freethworld.com/the-business-of-free/

The success of Google has transformed the economy of the world. In the 20th century the model of business remained largely unchanged. A business offered a product or service for a specific cost to the buyer. For the most part; the price of a product or service depended upon the amount of profit which could be earned above the cost of production and what customers would pay to keep a business alive.

Google changed that by offering their services to people for free. With Google, any person can search the wealth of information available on the internet, receive electronic mail, obtain phone service, and benefit from a tremendous range of other services – completely for free. Google is a company who transformed people; rather, users, into their product. Instead of selling a product or service to the consumer, Google sells the consumer’s information to the business.

Businesses became Google’s customers; offering a revolutionary method of targeting customers (users) with advertisements. Because their customers are businesses, and they offer services to consumers for free, Google has fashioned a model of providing valuable services without cost to the user of those services. This is a model which I hope yo enhance with an organization I have created called Freeth World.

I believe that success in life and business is all about relationships. Seeing ideas, projects, and solutions come to life is becoming less about what you know (although that is certainly important) as who you know and how we connect with each other – especially in the online information arena.

My intent by creating Freeth World is to build an organization that provides services, helping people build relationships both in the online world, and the natural world, completely for free. We will only accept donations in return for the services we provide.

Freeth world is an organization which builds relationships with our clients that are based not on the bottom line; or, money in return for services, but on trust. We trust our clients to exchange an amount they believe is fair, and which they can afford.

It is my hope that in using this model, we are able to provide useful and high quality services to any person and help others, regardless of their financial state, to achieve success. We believe that as we help our clients succeed, we will also succeed, creating a win-win professional relationships. We make our client’s success, our success as well.

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When I See…

When I see foreclosed-empty homes, warehouses with “for rent” signs, and other vacant buildings, I see people laying on the streets in open doorways and sidewalks who have a roof for the night.

When I see barren land, I see bountiful gardens of food growing tall so that no person awakes tomorrow to wonder of where their next meal will come.

When I see people with disease, I see people coming around them to help receive the treatment they need and the best treatment of all – love and friendship.

When I see electricity, I see energy being produced from sources of wind, water, geo-thermal, and solar, sources which produce absolutely zero pollution to the air.

When I see a man on the street corner begging for change, I see a friend.

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People Who Live Without Money. Yep, It Is Possible.

Mark Boyle

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From an article in the guardian:

“I live without cash – and I manage just fine
Armed with a caravan, solar laptop and toothpaste made from washed-up cuttlefish bones, Mark Boyle gave up using cash.

In six years of studying economics, not once did I hear the word “ecology”. So if it hadn’t have been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi in the final term of my degree, I’d probably have ended up earning a fine living in a very respectable job persuading Indian farmers to go GM, or something useful like that. The little chap in the loincloth taught me one huge lesson – to be the change I wanted to see in the world. Trouble was, I had no idea back then what that change was.

After managing a couple of organic food companies made me realise that even “ethical business” would never be quite enough, an afternoon’s philosophising with a mate changed everything. We were looking at the world’s issues – environmental destruction, sweatshops, factory farms, wars over resources – and wondering which of them we should dedicate our lives to. But I realised that I was looking at the world in the same way a western medical practitioner looks at a patient, seeing symptoms and wondering how to firefight them, without any thought for their root cause. So I decided instead to become a social homeopath, a pro-activist, and to investigate the root cause of these symptoms.

One of the critical causes of those symptoms is the fact we no longer have to see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect. The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the stuff we buy. The tool that has enabled this separation is money.

If we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t contaminate it.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up cash, which I initially decided to do for a year. I got myself a caravan, parked it up on an organic farm where I was volunteering and kitted it out to be off-grid. Cooking would now be outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove; mobile and laptop would be run off solar; I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode, and a compost loo for humanure.

Food was the next essential. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering, and using waste grub, of which there is loads. On my first day, I fed 150 people a three-course meal with waste and foraged food. Most of the year, though, I ate my own crops.

To get around, I had a bike and trailer, and the 34-mile commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it’s not double-quilted, but I quickly got used to it. For toothpaste I used washed-up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan.

What have I learned? That friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is of the spiritual kind. That independence is really interdependence. And that if you don’t own a plasma screen TV, people think you’re an extremist.

People often ask me what I miss about my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic jams. Bank statements. Utility bills.

Well, there was the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.

• Mark Boyle is the founder of The Freeconomy Community. In a subsequent blog he responds to the comments below.”

Daniel Suelo

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Article from details.com

Daniel Suelo lives in a cave. Unlike the average American—wallowing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office—he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.

His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo. Suelo’s blog, which he maintains free at the Moab Public Library, suggests that he’s both. “When I lived with money, I was always lacking,” he writes. “Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”

On a warm day in early spring, I clamber along a set of red-rock cliffs to the mouth of his cave, where I find a note signed with a smiley face: CHRIS, FEEL FREE TO USE ANYTHING, EAT ANYTHING (NOTHING HERE IS MINE). From the outside, the place looks like a hollowed teardrop, about the size of an Amtrak bathroom, with enough space for a few pots that hang from the ceiling, a stove under a stone eave, big buckets full of beans and rice, a bed of blankets in the dirt, and not much else. Suelo’s been here for three years, and it smells like it.

Night falls, the stars wink, and after an hour, Suelo tramps up the cliff, mimicking a raven’s call—his salutation—a guttural, high-pitched caw. He’s lanky and tan; yesterday he rebuilt the entrance to his cave, hauling huge rocks to make a staircase. His hands are black with dirt, and his hair, which is going gray, looks like a bird’s nest, full of dust and twigs from scrambling in the underbrush on the canyon floor. Grinning, he presents the booty from one of his weekly rituals, scavenging on the streets of Moab: a wool hat and gloves, a winter jacket, and a white nylon belt, still wrapped in plastic, along with Carhartt pants and sandals, which he’s wearing. He’s also scrounged cans of tuna and turkey Spam and a honeycomb candle. All in all, a nice haul from the waste product of America. “You made it,” he says. I hand him a bag of apples and a block of cheese I bought at the supermarket, but the gift suddenly seems meager.

Suelo lights the candle and stokes a fire in the stove, which is an old blackened tin, the kind that Christmas cookies might come in. It’s hooked to a chain of soup cans segmented like a caterpillar and fitted to a hole in the rock. Soon smoke billows into the night and the cave is warm. I think of how John the Baptist survived on honey and locusts in the desert. Suelo, who keeps a copy of the Bible for bedtime reading, is satisfied with a few grasshoppers fried in his skillet.

Read More About Daniel Here

Heidemarie Schwermer

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Article from BusinessInsider.com:

In her early 50s, Schwermer decided to see what it’d be like to leave her cushy job as a psychotherapist and live money-free, a journey that’s been documented in the film “Living Without Money.”
Sixteen years later, she hasn’t looked back. Schwermer, now pushing 70, recently took a pause during her stay in Hamelin, Germany to chat with Business Insider about why she decided to leave everything behind.

WWII refugees, Schwermer’s family fled from Prussia to Germany in the 1940s. Her father had owned a successful coffee roastery and kept a nanny and full-time gardener on his payroll. “We were well-off but ended up as riff-raff,” she says. “Then we became rich again and (we) had to defend it. I’ve always had to justify myself, whether we were rich or poor.”

Throughout her life, she became fascinated with finding ways to live without money. A former teacher and psychotherapist, Schwermer formed Germany’s first exchange circle, “Give And Take Central” in 1994. The group helped locals exchange simple services like babysitting or house cleaning for tangible goods. “I noticed that I needed money less and less,” she told Business Insider. “And so I thought, I can try to live one year without money.”

Schwermer attempted to live without money at least four times, she says, but it wasn’t until a friend asked her to house sit for three months that she finally took the plunge. “I said, ‘The time is right. Now I’ll do it.’ I gave everything away.” That included her apartment, which she sold first, and everything that wouldn’t fit into a small suitcase.

What was only meant to last 12 months became her life for the next 16 years. “I only wanted to try to do an experiment and in that year, I noticed a new life,” she said. “I didn’t want to go back to the old life.”

Family and friends weren’t on board when she pitched the idea. She only sees her two children and three grandchildren a few times per year, but says they’ve warmed up to her come-and-go lifestyle. “Now they’re proud of what I’m doing. It’s enough for us,” she says.

After divorcing her first and only husband 40 years ago, Schwermer hasn’t re-married. She’s clearly not in any rush. “If it happens, I’m interested, yes,” she says. “Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heidemarie-schwermer-has-lived-without-money-for-16-years-2012-6?op=1#ixzz2J8pzM2dt

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5 Ways to Complain About A Government Welfare System

I was going for a long walk late this evening, when I began to think about complaints I hear about government welfare. My thoughts have led me to compile a list of 5 ways to best lodge our complaints about the government-run welfare system. Here we go:

1. Take the time to meet the poor. When you see a person asking for change, give them 5 minutes, ask them questions, and show that you value them as a person with value.

2. Buy someone who is hungry a meal.

3. Invite someone who is homeless to come to your home for a meal, and potentially a roof for the night. It may seem scary, highly inadvisable, and they may be unwashed; but what you’ll have to choose is whether or not you value love and kindness over your own belief in what security actually is. Organize your church or community group to use building space to provide a shelter for the shelterless to sleep at night. If churches and groups began to do this as a priority, cities will be transformed by love and kindness.

4. Learn about who a person living in poverty truly is. Discover their talents and passions, and help them earn income by doing what they are naturally good at. You’ll discover there are many people living on the streets with high-level degrees, and unique abilities,but are in need of someone to take the time to nurture and bring those abilities into the world.

5. Give extremely to any person who is in need. When we begin to change our culture in to a culture of giving, the needs of all people are met, and all are invited and welcomed into the family of the community.

We have the tremendous honor and liberty to give to one another, to lift each other up in times of need. When that liberty is not exercised, the government steps in to fill the holes. The government welfare system is incredibly inefficient, and creates dependency within people upon an institution. But what if we began to rely on one another and the love we have for each other?

We have the choice to eliminate the government welfare system. If the people rise up to meet the needs of one another, we will have no need for government welfare, and indeed we will know liberty to a degree we have in my estimation – never before seen.

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How Giving Changes The World

We are trained at an early age to believe in the philosophy of “survival of the fittest.” We are taught to do our best in taking care of our-self, to rely only on our-self, to become successful in life and business.

Because of this indoctrination – “survival of the fittest” – our behavior is shaped toward gaining as much as possible to provide for our own well being; our own security. But what if we inverted this thinking? What if we began first with the principle of giving, rather than gaining? I propose that if our focus is on gaining so that we might give, our capacity to give will be restricted as it is not truly our priority, and thus may never be realized. Because our first focus is to gain for ourselves, we continue a path of accumulation and giving becomes of greater difficulty, the more we accumulate.

We accumulate more and more, but it is difficult to shift our focus toward giving after years spent in pursuit of personal gain.

So what if we begin with our focus on giving? Do we sacrifice gain? I believe the answer to this question is absolutely, no.

When we give of ourselves to others; our time, our resources, and our friendship, we gain value that is priceless in the hearts and minds of people in need of hope. And hope is a force which can change the world.

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5 Solutions to Change the World

I’ve discovered five key solutions to share with the world to eliminate our problems of violence, fear, poverty, slavery, and hate.

1. Peace: Human history has always known war and violence toward one another. Because of this history we have accepted as fact that humanity will always be at war. However, I believe that peace will one day be known by our species, and I will work to that end, whether it be one or one-thoiuand years from now to be realized. I believe our faith can ony be realized as truth if we place it in that which has not yet been seen. And the truth of a world at peace, is the only truth befitting a God who is love.

2. Hope: It is often that I hear “hope” spoken of in a depresding manner. We hear people say “I hope so” commonly with a tone of belief that what we hope for likely will not happen. But I would offer that the only things we should have hope for are those things which there is no doubt we will achieve. I hope in peace, and a world filled with people who simply love one another, share resources, and bring freedom to all of life. These are dreams of mine which I believe to based in promises from a being who cannot lie – God.

3. Resourceful Giving: Poverty is a product of greed. Greed is humanity’s pursuit of power over another, as opposed to service to one another. As we learn the joy of giving we learn that giving is actually one of the most selfish acts we can do. Because giving not only improves the well being of another in need, but improves the well being of our world. When poverty is eliminated by a gift of fortune, the incentive for thousands of other problems is also eliminated, and we create a safer, more connected in relationship world.

4. Freedom: Liberty is one of life’s most badic rights. Freedom is at war with greed & humanity’s desire to rule others. For freedom to be realized we must stand against those who would seek to oppress and enslave others. We stand against oppresdion with weapons not of violence nor words of anger; but with a heart of love and justice.

5. Love: I believe every solution listed above is rooted on simple love for one another. As we, together in unity, learn more about what “loving one another” means, the world will know peace, hope, generosity, and freedom.

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What Happens in the Unknown? Hiking Oregon.

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Over the past few years I’ve taken many trips “into the unknown.” What I mean is, I’ve started a journey, traveling from place to place without destination, without much money, and without knowledge of how I would survive.

I always remember the first step, which is often that hardest to take. Each time I take that step, fully realizing I have just crossed over from everything I knew, into everything I did not know. This step then begins a battle between excitement and fear, and though fear may appear more prevalent at times, excitement and sureness have always won.

It’s incredible what God can do when we step into the world of the unknown. A world where He is completely our total reliance. I remember walking along highway 101 in northern Oregon one evening, the sun was moments away from giving way to darkness. I had about $8 to my name and it looked I would be walking another 6 or 7 hours until approaching the next town of Astoria. Right at the time a truck pulled over and asked if I’d like a ride into Astoria – perfect timing.

I arrived in Astoria at about 9pm, still without a clue as to how or where I would sleep. When someone from Astoria has told me about a place that was “a step below a hostel and a step above a homeless shelter.” It sounded perfect to me. They gave me directions and I pursued to find the establishment where I might sleep for the evening. When I found the building I spoke with some gentleman outside who said I’d found the place, but I’d have to speak to the house manager about staying for the night. Luckily they said, he was there, finishing up a Bible study. I walked through the front door, made my introduction, and secured a couch for the nigh, before heading to Portland in the morning.

That is just one story, from the many cases on my two month long Explroation of the west coast, this past summer, where nothing seemed to be coming to my aid, in a time of seemingly distress. Yet I never felt incredibly stressed. There were moments of fear, but they were brief. I continuously practiced the thought in my head that “I’m doing great!” I wasn’t hungry, I had water, I had clothing, and if need be I would find somewhere to sleep at some point.

Why should I fear the world around me?

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