Sunday, May 29th 2022 12:00 AM — Monday, May 30th 2022 12:00 AM
Challenge: one day a week, let's make money obsolete (and time bank instead)
In the Jewish and some Christian traditions, one day a week is set aside for complete rest, called Sabbath. In our culture, this day is often Sunday. This day was supposed to be a reminder to the Jewish people that God liberated them from slavery in Israel, where there was no rest and their entire value as humans was in what they produced. Sabbath is a contrast of that insatiable drive to produce with an alternative imagination, where to live is "not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord". In contrast to the rather drab and cheerless images we often get of modern Sabbath, it is actually supposed to be a time for enjoyment and community. Sabbath is made for humanity, not humanity for the Sabbath. In a time where the dominant economy is based on artificial scarcity rather than the natural abundance of nature and community, sabbath practices today can be radical. One historical manifestation of Sabbath is to avoid spending any money for 24 hours. On the flip side, activities that nurture the earth, family, and community have often been seen as DOs of the Sabbath.
Whether you are religious or not, we want to call you to adopt one day a week (let's say Sunday) where you and your family, church, neighbors, friends, or any other community do everything in your power not to spend any money. Instead, when you have a need on Sundays, we challenge you to commit first to turning to local community members to help you out, whether that be through gifting or time banking. This day can serve as an experiment, a witness to ourselves and to the wider world that another economy is possible, one that relies on neighbors and makes money obsolete.
If you are in a church, neighborhood pod, or other community group, we'd love for your group to sign on to this pledge. Then, the members of the group can exchange numbers and information about skills, services, talents, and items (like an egg or two, a can opener, etc) they might have access to that otherwise someone might feel the need to buy at the store or pay someone to do in a pinch. They would commit to using that list as a first resort, then the time bank or an online "Buy Nothing" group as a second, with money only being a last, emergency, resort.
If this experiment bears good fruit, maybe we can even build towards a multi-day communal festival where we commit to this pledge for a longer period of time- a few days or even a week!
Sign the pledge here: