Episode #772

November 18, 2023

For eons humans have used barter to trade what they have for what they want or need.

Cave men hunted by hand, banding together as a team (bartering their cooperation with each other). The team traded hides with the leather-smith for clothing. Some of the clothing was traded to the spear-maker to make hunting more efficient. Meat was also shared with women who gathered vegetables. The campfire was the grocery store. What was left over after eating was bartered with craftsmen to improve everyone’s life.

Early services rendered were compensated with certificates of bartered goods.

Money was invented to even the field of skills, life and living. Money is a form of barter with cash as the middle man. William performs services for John. John gives money in exchange for William’s service. William is hungry so trades some of the money for Grocer Joe’s food.

He then trades some grocery sugar for eggs that his neighbor collects from chickens he raises. William’s left over funds are used for housing and other necessities.

Barter, however, is not simply the trading of services, money or goods. It is also the social exchange of favors and friendship.

Friendships grow with barter.  Devin is mowing his lawn. His neighbor Philip is out for a walk. Philip gives a friendly wave to Devin. They do this every week.

One day Philip notices a RAMs football sticker on Devin’s car. “How about those RAMs?” he calls out over Devin’s lawnmower. Devin stops the mower and says, “Stafford and Kupp are some team!” Philip walks across the grass, extends his hand and says, “I’m glad Kupp is back.. I’m Philip. I recently moved in to the blue house down the street.” “Devin… nice to meet you.” As they exchange an handshake a friendship is born.

As time goes on, Devin borrows Philip’s edge trimmer and Philip borrows Devin’s lawn mower. Devin does not have live TV, but Philip has the Hulu + Live TV bundle. He invites Devin over for RAMs games. Devin tells stories about the neighborhood and Philip’s blue house. In exchange, Philip barters stories about his previous neighborhood.

The two neighbors’ wives get along well and begin inviting each other over for dinners. The couples become famous friends due to simple exchanges of goods, services and kindnesses. It is a barter of shared experiences.

My neighborhood is alive with barter. The animal sitter trades her services for fish from the lake and eggs from her neighbor’s chicken coop. The accountant trades bookkeeping for chores around the ranch. A young man trades baby sitting duty for piano lessons from his neighbor down the street. I help my neighbors with their computers and they are always willing to lend me a hand with my projects around the property.

Barter is not always an equal value trade. The item that you give might not be as valuable as the benefit you receive. Physical value is not the only thing being bartered. Emotional and cultural value should be considered. One Christmas my friend gave me an expensive power tool. On his birthday I gave him a chess board that I made using the tool. While the chess board took a lot of time to make the materials were inexpensive. Nevertheless, the exchange was equitable as the chess board has been a valuable source of entertainment and friendship for both of us.

Every time we play a game of chess I appreciate the equity of those bartered gifts.

“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

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“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

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One Response

  1. Victor Spindler November 17, 2023

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