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The Man Who Lives Without Money

Todd Tyrtle

Mark Boyle was a successful manager of a large organic food company until one day he decided to live for a year without money because "The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means we're completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the 'stuff' we buy."

At the end of the year he decided to keep going and has continued to live without money.

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  • Ben Goldhirsh

    wow. Todd. Thanks for passing this on. I found this extremely impactful. And challenging to my own pursuit of living in accord with my values. I say the latter because I think Mark's logic has sound foundation, and yet it scares me to think about such a full step in pursuit of delivering on the change you want to see, especially when you have dependents and infrastructure and overhead. Anyhow, I'm going to sleep on this and think about what it means for me on my path. Thanks again for bringing it to my eyes and brain.

    • Todd Tyrtle

      It did the same for me. Just sharing the joy.

      And yeah, I know what you mean there. I have all of that and live in a city I love and love contributing to and so money's pretty necessary.

      That said, I've been exploring ways to work outside of money. My favourite, and most recent, was this:

      My partner is a storyteller by trade and was telling folk tales at a nearby farmer's market. The market gave her "market bucks" - hyper-local currency that is only able to be spent at market vendors, most of which are local growers. She gave me those which I spent on organic blackberries. A few days later I made those blackberries into homemade jam. I then traded a few jars of that jam for a hand-knit wool hat that a friend of mine made. In other words, I turned stories into hats.

      That experience was so satisfying on an almost primal level. It really makes me want to seek out more of those non-monetary exchanges. It felt as if so much was being exchanged outside of money or even things.

      • Ben Goldhirsh

        I love that. An experience I had with some parallels was neighborday. As we moved to build this GOOD community, here at HQ we figured we should create a holiday for all of us members to celebrate. In turn, Neighborday - the last sunday in April where people celebrated neighboring. i did this on my street where I'd lived for a few years but didn't know the neighbors beyond friendly waves in the car. I went door to door to meet everyone in advance and we all decided to do a house crawl where we started at one end of the street and went house to house to the other end of the block, each person making different stuff to eat or drink. It was a jam of a day, and it set in motion a whole new vibe for our street where we're sharing stuff, working on projects together, looking out for each other - all sorts of good stuff that never touches dollars or even feels like transactions. Gonna look for more stuff like this and what you shared.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Hey Todd! This post is up on the homepage today! Just scroll through the carousel. :)

    • Todd Tyrtle

      Thanks for sharing it!