An overview of Currency (Money) and why it’s important
You see a lot about “sharing” these days. Sharing websites of all types, businesses that purport to share. And they usually have a lot of people that will say…”Sharing is caring” and maybe that’s true. But maybe it’s just not, if not done correctly and in the spirit for which it originated and evolved.
A Shared Society
Back in the earliest times of man, we lived in a shared society. That small village, tribe or group of people were a shared society. Everyone had a job and a purpose. Some were hunters of food, others gathered. Some cooked, some built huts or shelters. Some wove baskets or made clothing. Some were the protectors, and some were the nurturers of the young. Food and necessities of life were all shared. Every person had a purpose and a job, except for one. That person was called …Chief. OK, that’s just a tongue-in-cheek joke. The Chief also had a purpose to watch over and lead the entire tribe or community and to make sure that every job got done for the greater good of the tribe so that its survival was assured as best it could. Even the elderly had a purpose. Though they may not have been able to work a field or go off on a hunt. It was their experience of life, the wisdom and knowledge of the past that could help to figure out a current situation. What did they do when a 20 year drought hit and now how best to deal with one now.
This is how a shared society worked. If someone did not do their part they were outcast from the village because a society cannot exist where people only take but never give.
The Evolution of Sharing
As time passed and community or villages grew, as they traveled more outside of their current environ. There grew a need for other things. Things that maybe simply were not capable of having or supporting. Say one area was good for growing grains and nuts but couldn’t support or have animals to hunt or graze and herd. So, one village may want to trade say baskets of grain to another village for deer meat. This need and the trade of items became known as the barter system. This also could apply to work. Maybe one village had a building technique for huts that was better than another, but the other village knew of a way to get fresh water. So even work could be bartered for and exchanged. People would trade something they valued to another person for something of value. Hopefully equal value though different in nature.
As time progressed and the distances grew further. Marketplaces developed. It became increasingly difficult to barter directly. It wasn’t always easy to trade sheep for spices, so a “Proxy” was needed to serve as a substitute for work or a good. That was the invention of currency or money as we know it. It could have been a rock or a stamped coin, but that item served as an item that was regarded as having equal worth to that of a wanted amount of work or product. And thus, trade beyond the village and eventually globally began. Shared Societies simply got larger and farther reaching because of the use of currency.
So, what we can draw from this is that Sharing actually is an exchange. It may be, in a macro sense, everyone just doing their job for the common good, to the barter of items and services of equal value to yes, even the exchange of money for good or services is…sharing. That is how sharing works.
As you know, I work as a Photographer. It is my only means of survival, it’s all I do. While it’s certainly a passion for me, it’s not a hobby, it’s not something I do just for fun even though I DO have a ton of fun doing it. I need it to make a living
So, when I see people talk about Photo Sharing (and other digital industries too) and how “How Sharing is Caring” how if I “give” a photo it feeds the common good. I find that confusing. I work and spend a lot of money and time to make a photograph. So, people would like me to share that. OK, that’s fine because I know how a shared society works (I just explained that) But then I’m sometimes just expected to give it for free. Nothing else, just free. No exchange, Free. Or other times, I’m expected to share it…for exposure. Now don’t get me wrong there are times that exposure is worth something. It could be said that advertising and marketing, in the end, are “exposure”. But most times, exposure is nothing more than a word used. That’s not sharing, that is taking. In the end it has no value. 0, zip, nada. Yet I am expected to “share” for that. Lastly, I may be expected to share for a value far below what I give. 40 Cents is not what my photos are worth. I’m sorry that’s not being big headed. It’s just fact.
No, a true shared society, as it exists today, is: The exchange of something of value – Work or Product – for currency. Money. M.O.N.E.Y. It’s NOT a dirty word. It’s how things work. I am not ashamed at all that I work for money. It allows me to support myself and not to have to have someone else support me or worse yet be outcast from society, like that person in the village that refused to work yet draw benefit from the shared society.
So, if you actually expect sharing. Make SURE that you also CARE. Because if you just take and don’t give something, you don’t care…not at all.
I accept cash, check and PayPal….seriously