During the summer I stumbled across the Transitions Network website and then discovered a Transitions group in my area called Village Surrey. After watching numerous documentaries about the problems with money and its power structure, I had come to the conclusion that the root of all evil was indeed money, but at the same time it’s also the most simple and powerful “voting” tool we have as individuals. The Money & Life movie became our movie night choice for September and a small, diverse group showed up to watch the documentary and discuss it afterwards.
One Muslim woman commented on how she felt nauseous after seeing how the fractional banking system really works. She reflected on how the Qur’an views the act of charging interest as a moral sin. Another man, who have moved to our area from Africa, shared how he felt disconnected from those around him and how difficult it was to feel a part of a new community. He valued the opportunity to connect with like-minded people. One participant felt we should not put too much emphasis on money so as not to overstate its importance. Fair point. A range of thoughts and ideas were shared, but what mattered was that Money & Life provided a starting point for people to connect, learn and grow.
One of the purposes of showing Money & Life was to see if there would be some interest afterwards in starting a local currency to promote local businesses, create resilience in our economy, and start reconnecting people. Money can be a democratic and empowering tool. Hopefully, whether we barter, have time shares or an electronic currency, there are ways to make powerful changes since we all deal with money on a daily basis and would ultimately like to spend much more time on what skills we can share with each other, not on how much we get paid in a national currency.
Learning about what others are doing is encouraging. So we shall see where this local currency project leads and at the very least, it has me thinking more about my community and how to make its roots stronger!
Surrey, BC, Canada