How a Win-Win Gift Exchange Works
Timothy Wilken, MD
Synergic science is the study of how things can best work together. It examines the processes of Light, Particles, Atoms, Molecules, the Plants, the Animals and we Humans. One of the discoveries of synergic science is that the best organizations–most efficient, most productive and most happy–are those where the participants have win-win relationships with each other.
From synergic science, a tensegrity is the pattern that results when push and pull have a win-win relationship with each other. The pull is continuous and the push is discontinuous. The continuous pull is balanced by the discontinuous push producing an integrity of tension and compression. This creates a powerful self-stabilizing system.
We humans have needs that are continuously pulling on us to be met. To meet these needs we or an other, working on our behalf, must take actions to meet these needs. While our needs continuously pull on us, actions are discontinuous pushes. Humans as theinterdependent class of life can have positive relationships with each other. We can form a gifting tensegrity, where we are continuously being helped,and where we arediscontinuouslyhelpingothers. For convenience, We can combine the two terms ‘gifting’ and ‘tensegrity’ into a shorter term GIFTegrity.
The GIFTegrity is a newly invented mechanism for the exchange of human help. Let us begin by describing how a GIFTegrity might be structured and how it could work. Every member of a GIFTegrity community would participate in two roles–as a GIFTor and as a GIFTee. Every member participates by both gifting help to others and by receiving help from others.
The continuous pull of the GIFTees’ needs are balanced by the discontinuous push from the GIFTors’ offers of help. Again we see as an INTERdependent life form, there will be times when we will help others and times when others will help us.
The GIFTegrity works on trust. I give help to those in need and trust that when I am in need there will be those who will give me help. Synergic Trust was discovered long ago, and was once known as:
The Spiritual Principle Of Giving And Receiving
“When we give to one another, freely and without conditions, sharing our blessings with others and bearing each other’s burdens, the giving multiplies and we receive far more than what was given. Even when there is no immediate prospect of return, Heaven keeps accounts of giving, and in the end blessing will return to the giver, multiplied manyfold. We must give first; to expect to receive without having given is to violate the universal law. On the other hand, giving in order to receive — with strings attached, with the intention of currying favor, or in order to make a name for oneself — is condemned.”
And while, The Spiritual Principle of Giving and Receiving relies on “Heaven to keep account of giving,” the GIFTegrity relies on a public database to keep account of giving and receiving. This database of the synergic help exchange is a public space where the exchanging of help is made visible to all members who are participants in good standing.When you join a Gift Tensegrity you sign in and register as a Giftor-Giftee. You will fill out two profiles. The first profile is for your role as a GIFTor. Your GIFTor profile is the list of the types of help you would like to give or share with other members of the GIFTegrity.
The second profile is for your role as a GIFTee. Your GIFTee profile is the list of the types of help you would like to receive or borrow from other members of the GIFTegrity. A third profile will develop as GIFTor-GIFTee members use the GIFTegtity. This is the personal history of each member’s giving, sharing, receiving and borrowing. This profile is transparent. It can be seen by all members who are participants in good standing. It shows all the gifts you have given, all the gifts you have shared, all the gifts you have received, and and all the gifts you have borrowed as well as any comments made by you and your partner’s in the gift exchange.
Every exchange generates a GIFTor’s comment rating the GIFTee, and a GIFTee’s comment rating the GIFTor.
Now once a new member has completed their GIFTor and GIFTee registration and entered all their data into the data base, the computer helps the members sort and matche gifts of help with needs for help.
Within the GIFTegrity, the role of GIFTor is active. The role of GIFTee is passive. This means that once the computer has completed sorting and matching registered gifts of help with registered needs of help, the lists of matches are presented to the GIFTor. These matches are not available for viewing by the GIFTee.
The list of matchs can be sorted with those who have the highest ratio of giving/receiving and most positive comments being sorted higher on the list than those who have lower ratio of giving/receiving and negative comments. Or the member can sort them in the exact opposite way. Control of gifting lies totally within the control of the GIFTor. You may choose to support those who have given the most to the GIFTegrity community or you may choose to support those who have given the least. The choice of who and when to gift to other belongs the one gifting. The needs and gifts database can be sorted in multiple ways, as the members like.
Freedom of Choice in the Synergic Help Exchange
However, the Giftor is free to offer his gift to anyone on the list regardless of the order presented. The Giftor is in control of his giving. Once the Giftor has made his choice and selected a Giftee to receive his offer of help, then the Giftee is notified that an offer of help has been made.
The Giftee is then presented with a list of offers of help from those Giftors that have selected them for offers. With these offers of help comes access to the profiles of the offering Giftors. The giftee is then free to examine the offer carefully, read the profile of the Giftor and decide whether to accept the offer or not.
Freedom of choice is an absolute tenant of the GIFTegrity. The GIFTor decides when and to whom to offer a gift of help. The GIFTee decides when and from whom to accept a gift offer of help. GIFTors are unknown to GIFTees unless the GIFTor offers help. The GIFTee is under no obligation to accept an offered gift. At this point the GIFTee may contact the GIFTor with questions or clarifications about the offer. If the GIFTee accepts the offer, than that action is recorded as a synergic help exchange and both profiles are updated. Both GIFTor and GIFTee can make comments about the interaction then or at a later time if more appropriate. If the GIFTee declines the offer of help, the GIFTor is notified so they can offer their help to some other member of the GIFTegrity.
What you might give or receive
How do you registering the types of help you might choose to give or like to receive? It would seem that almost any good or service could be exchanged in a synergic help tensegrity. I would suggest four general classes of Gifts as a way of organizing the data base. Also considerations of Local, Regional and Global come into play.
1) Goods – THINGS: Tools, Appliances, Equipment, Automobiles, Trucks, Tractors, Lawnmowers, House Furniture, Household Goods, Furnishings, Materials, Supplies, etc., etc., etc..
And, you can give these things away fully or only gift the use of them for a specified time. Location is very important for the gift of using a tool or appliance, perhaps less important if the item is given away fully. Shipping costs might make a difference, but you can Gift an item with the provision that the Giftee pay shipping.
2) Actions – SERVICES: Projects, Labor (skilled and unskilled), Jobs and Tasks.
This could be as simple as baby sitting, or giving someone a ride to as complex as building a room on someone’s house or writing a custom software program, etc., etc., etc.. It could be a million and one different forms of helping provided by humans in action. Location is very important. Many services would only available locally.
3) Knowing – KNOWLEDGE: Expertise, Consultations, Counseling, and Advise.
Those humans with expertise in almost any field can make that expertise available to others as a gift. Physicians, Attorneys, Accountants, Engineers, Scientists, Teachers, etc., etc., etc.. Location may be less important with telephone and internet communication.
Knowing can also be available in the form or books, art, courses, online files, etc., etc., etc.. Location may be less important with telephone and internet communication.
4) Compassion – KINDNESS: Empathy, Sympathy, Love, and Support.
Compassion is a very personal form of gift. It is the most human of gifts. Compassion can come in many forms. It may just be lending an ear, holding space with another, or holding someone’s hand. Those humans with experience of the difficult challenges encountered in life can share the lessons they have learned from those challenges with others as a gift. Those that have lost the most, have often learned the greatest lessons. Those that have faced Death in the form of Cancer, Major Injury or Illness, and those that have lost loved ones — children, spouses, or parents, may be best prepared to help their fellow humans who face similar challenges.
Because the personal touch is so powerful with Compassion, this gift is often best given locally, but location may be less important with the growing power of internet communication — such as Skype and FaceTime.
You can gift anything with conditions. A gift is an offer of help. The GIFTee is under no obligation to accept the offer. Synergic exchange is fully voluntary. The GIFTor makes offers of help when and to whom he chooses. The GIFTee accepts offers of help when and from whom they choose. Conditions of gifting is both intelligent and synergic.
Things that are gifted can be new or used. Working or not working. The important thing is to describe the offered gift accurately. A television repairman might like the gift of an old TV, that he will repair and use or gift to someone else.
Many of us have tools that we only use occasionally. If I gift the use of a tool for a weekend, I may do so with the condition that it be returned in clean and in good condition.
Since your giving-receiving profile is based not on the number of gifts offered, but rather on the number of gift offers accepted, it is of great importance to have a good relationship with the GIFTee. That means your descriptions of an offered gift needs to be very accurate. No one will be criticized for gifting junk as long as they describe it accurately as junk. Those seeking junk will be happy. Remember one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.
Transparency in the GIFTegrity
Your ranking on the help offer lists is determined in part by your ratio of giving-receiving. Every time your offers of help are accepted your ratio goes up. Those who give the most to others will probably be the most honored members in the community of the GIFTegrity. So you will want to give as much as you can. Likewise every time you accept a gift offering from others your ratio goes down. So you will want to accept others gifts carefully and only when you truly value and need them. The purpose of synergic help exchange is to help our fellow members meet their needs. The accumulation of things, you really don’t need or want is best left in the world of MARKET.
Within the GIFTegrity community all giving and receiving is transparent. However the GIFTor decides to whom and when to gift. They may give to the most generous of members or the least generous. The choice is theirs.
The other factor in effecting your ranking on the help offer lists is your comment mean. This the average score for comments made about you during help exchanges. Every encounter will be rated. ten (10) for it couldn’t have been any better to zero (0) if couldn’t have been any worse. To be successful in the GIFTegity community you need to give and interact in a positive way with other members. This means you want to accurately describe your offered gifts and make sure those accepting your gifts get what they expect from your descriptions. You also want to be courteous and friendly in your encounters. If you have an encounter that earns you a low comment from an exchange partner, you will want to repair that encounter as quickly as possible so that that exchange partner will modify or withdraw their low comment.
For instance, if I gift a used computer to someone and it doesn’t work as described, I need to be willing to take it back at my expense if the GIFTee paid for shipping. Or pay for disposal and give up my credit for the gift. Remember, every exchange effects ratio of giving-receiving for both the giftor and giftee.
Gifting – Local, Regional & Global
Compassion is often best gifted locally, but with the internet and modern communication devices, I can help people all over the world.
Knowing is also available as a global, regional or local gift.
Human action will usually need to be local, occasionally regional, and rarely global.
Goods and especially the use of tools will mostly be local. However, it may make sense to gift a major appliance or automobile regionally. And rarely, smaller lighter items might be shipped globally especially if they are unusual one of a kind.
Bringing Dead Wealth to Life
One major advantage of the GIFTegrity is that it resurrects Dead Wealth. Dead Wealth is that wealth within the human community that is not being used to help self or others. Dead Wealth is found in all four forms – Compassion, Knowing, Action and Goods.
Compassion – All of us have benefited at some time in our lives from the gift of compassion. We know that it is often the best gift to receive and give. The GIFTegrity expands our ability to gift and receive this most special gift.
Knowing – Almost all of us have significant expertise in some areas. Some knowledge of how to solve problems that we have encountered in our lives. However, in our present world we trade the hours of our lives to others for just enough money to earn our livings. Our employers don’t want our expertise and knowledge unless it applies to the limited task they hired us to perform. Yet in the larger context of community our unwanted expertise and knowledge could help others. The GIFTegrity gives us an outlet for sharing that expertise and knowledge.
Again, this might be in the form of knowing and action joined together such as consultations, couseling, analysis and real time problem solving, or it may be available in the form of knowing and levers such as reports, books, video or audio tapes, artwork, photos, computer files, etc., etc., etc..
Action – We all have some hours in our lives that could be available to help others. The Gift Tensegrity gives me an outlet for all of those other skills and abilities that I am not currently trading to some employer for money. Some of us can do home and automobile repair, handyman work, cleaning, cooking, sewing, child and elder care, teaching, etc., etc., etc..
Or, it might be that if we knew what help others needed, we could combine their errands with our own when we are out running around anyway. The Gift Tensegrity allows you to quickly find out how you can turn those wasted hours into help for others.
Goods – And finally, we all have lots of perfectly good things we have in boxes in our garages, attics, and closets. Used tools, appliances, furniture, clothing, furnishings– things we never use but are too good to throw away. Now they can be easily liberated by simply describing them accurately and gifting them away. Or how about just gifting away the use of some those great tools you only use one day a week or one day a month.
GIFTegrity Servers – Local, Regional & Global
Because so much of our need for help is a need for local help. I see the need to establish Neighborhood GIFTegrities. This is where you will get help with household repair, automotive service, child and elder care, transportation, etc., etc., etc..
I envision this being started when someone with the time and interest decides to gift the use of their home computer and DSL line to run a neighborhood GIFTegrity Database. Then anyone in the neighborhood could use a computer with dialup connection to the internet to connect to the local GIFTegrity and enter into synergic help exchange.
These Local GIFTegrities servers would then be linked to Regional Gift Tensegrity servers which in turn would like to Global Servers. This would lead to a disseminated system with high level of redundancy.
This system will work easily with today’s home computers and off the shelf database software.
Need Help – Look First to the GIFTegrity
The GIFTegrity is a synergic help exchange. And as INTERdependent form or life, we all need help. As a synergic help exchange that means that the relations between the members of that exchange will be synergic. Remember synergic relationships are those that make me more productive, more effective, and more happy. When I need help, this is where I will look first.
In the beginning the gifting tensegrities will not instantly replace the fair market. It will begin as simple an alternative to the fair market. I will begin to meet some of my needs at the GIFTegrities. As I begin gifting and finding that some of my needs are met this way. I will have less need to sell the hours of my life for money to use in the fair market.
Once I am gifting 10 hours a week.I will then be able to reduce my working week from 40 to 30 hours. This is how the transition will occur.
Out of Work – Look to the the GIFTegrity
The gifting tensegrities can be enormously important to those individuals finding themselves out of work. When there is no market for the hours of your life. There is still no shortage of people who need your help. The gifting tensegrities acts as an immediate outlet for those with help to Gift, but no market for their help to Sell.
In fact the GIFTensegrity becomes a new type of insurance for all humans who are at risk for losing their jobs. In this society, that is all of us.
GIFTegrity – Not Just for Individuals
Synergic TeamNets are groups of individual humans that form themselves into Synergic Teams for the purpose of performing a larger and more complex task than they can perform as individuals. These individuals co-Operate through a network based on synergic relationships and synergic compensation mechanisms to accomplish those larger and more complex tasks. Barry Carter has written extensively about this concept in his book Infinite Wealth. And, I have developed a mechanism for organizing Synergic Production Teams called the Ortegrity which is available elsewhere.
TeamNets can register with a gifting tensegrity and list the Needs of their TeamNet Project. They may be able to attract the help they need thought the free synergic gift exchange, or they can attract help, by inviting others to join their team for Synergic Revenue Shares if the project produces revenue.
Economist Wayne F. Perg, Ph. D writes:
“My concept and understanding of the GIFTegrity is one of a radical move away from trade-oriented or materialistic sort of exchange.
“In the GIFTegrity there is no accounting, there are no prices, there is no barter (no tit for tat), and there is no medium of exchange! For me, it is the road to a post-monetary, post-barter economy.
“Barter and monetary economies both tie together giving and receiving. One cannot be done in the absence of the other. It is this “tying together” that is the ultimate source of “dead resources” and unemployment.
“The GIFTegrity frees giving from receiving and receiving from giving and will, as it is implemented, bring all resources to life and eliminate unemployment.
“The GIFTegrity does this by creating transparency, i.e., by creating good information on the SEPARATE giving and receiving actions of all members of the gifting tensegrity. Because there is no trading, only gifts given with no requirment of payment, there are no market prices and no accounting of trades. What there is is an open exchange of information on needs and resources available to fill those needs and ongoing individual negotiations around actions that will meet those needs.
“I see the GIFTegrity bringing the exchange relationships of a living organism to human society. As Elizabet Sahtouris has pointed out, the heart does not hold an auction for the supply of oxygenated blood and it does not withhold blood from those organs who are currently unable to pay.
“I see the GIFTegrity as a powerful new vehicle for first supplementing and then eventually replacing our present exchange economy that relies on money and barter to facilitate exchange.
“I see the GIFTegrity as a powerful step forward from money systems and barter because it separates the acts of giving and receiving whereas both money systems and barter tie giving and receiving together into formal exchange transactions. It is this tying together of giving and receiving that creates “landlocked” resources and unemployment.
“I do not see the GIFTegrity replacing informal, undocumented and recorded giving and receiving within families, groups and communities within which all participants are known to each other and within which trust is well established. In fact, I see the operation of the Gift Tensegrity increasing the number and size of the groups within which informal, undocumented giving and receiving is the norm.
“It is my understanding that, in the GIFTegrity, I do not make any commitment to giving in advance. As a giver, I have access to information on the needs of those who are seeking what I have to give, but potential receivers of my gifts have no access to me as a giver until I offer my gift to that person, organization, or community to which I decide that I would like to give.
“Also, given my big picture vision for the GIFTegrity, I see givers and receivers including organizations (including for-profit businesses) and communities as well as individuals.”