There are a number of things I can do through the Common Wealth Time Bank, but I may not be able to do through the monetary system. I hope to accomplish this using the ABC2 method in order to establish a fuller, more balanced economy. By integrating the Arts first, we open ourselves up to a portion of the population that has historically had a hard time finding it´s place between the two roles of profiteer and volunteer in our economy of imbalance. Because the Artists´ nature is one of compliance with the flow of inspiration, they are the natural first step toward communicating the possibilities of seizing previously unheralded measures of wealth.
Every hour directed toward creativity and expression of the spirit of excellence that every human aspires to should be valued accordingly. The monetary system was not designed to inspire the soaring of spirit. It´s own value can only be realized when there is need. By fully opening up our economy and allowing the flow of a currency designed to truly emphasize our abundance, we are able to realize that our needs are not as great as we often imagine and our gifts are more plentiful than we often recognize.
Through the humor, wit, pragmatism, and love that course through art, we are given the ability to share the folly we often engage by limiting ourselves to only one currency. With our shared imaginations and our collective creativity, we are able to imagine and plan for better ways of meeting our needs, strengthening our relationships, celebrating our lives, and developing more sustainable practices. As there has been much discussion on the Creative Class, or that set known as the Cultural Creatives, recognizing the wealth of our Artistic community is one of the first steps toward fully realizing the wealth of our economy.
As a multi-media artist myself, or as some might say, Transmedia Storyteller, I have a range of both offerings and requests available through the Common Wealth Time Bank. Some of my offerings are:
Musician – I do a show called The Rucksack Cabaret through which I tell my own personal story, but I also tend to just play some good songs from time to time. I am available for public performances, house parties, and special events.
Writer – With a few books and print, a semi-consistent blog, and a number of online forums that I post to, I´ve managed to get pretty good at laying out these here word things. I have often found it within my ability to help someone say something that they just couldn´t find the words for.
Filmmaker – Although I am currently technologically deficient in this category, I have quite a history with the various roles of film and video production. As a director, cameraman, set dresser, editor, or production assistant, I try to make every project I work on a good experience of striving for artistic excellence.
These services are offered only with the use of Time Dollars, which are plentiful and abundant. However, these services cannot currently be paid for with Federal Reserve Notes. I would rather invest my time and energy into projects that speak to me through their artistic merit more so than merely at the whim of the highest bidder.
As far as requests go, I´m seeking for more collaborative ventures through which to express my artistic side, looking for Artists seeking to help develop a new currency that will help provide them with the life they imagine. Among the requests are:
Television Producer – I am continuing on with the production of the ¨Dare to Be Different¨ show on the Spiritual Broadcasting Network and am looking for a producer to line up interviews and help promote the show.
Videographers & Editors – We will be producing a number of shorts to help promote the Common Wealth Time Bank and the Sarasota community. We are always on the look out for videographers and editors that want to participate in creative projects that help cultivate community.
Writers – Although I do write a bit myself, I am looking for other writers with which to collaborate on scripts, stories, essays and songs that will help promote the Common Wealth Time Bank and the opportunities that it affords us.
Visionary Artists – About a year ago, I started the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path as a community-based art project for Bradenton´s ArtSlam. The Labyrinth has continued to morph since then and is now going vertical.
In all actuality, it is that Unbroken Path that will be guiding much of the direction that these various projects. After all, it is that Unbroken Path that is making this time bank possible. It is that Unbroken Path that is making this community possible. And it is that Unbroken Path that makes this life possible.
That, I think, is really my biggest hope for the Common Wealth Time Bank, to get us back on the path of being human, fully, completely, and beautifully. With our adherence to the monetary economy as the sole arbiter of value, and our celebration of a means of exchange as a commodity, we have glorified the system we have created so much that we have largely missed the greater glory of what it represents. It is my hope that we can begin to more fully appreciate life instead of being consumed by its financial representation.
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at The Unbroken Path and is currently involved in starting the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.