Aug 112013
 

August 24, 12-4pm, Woodland Park gazebo

By Martin Mudd

I don’t put much stock in material possessions. They can break, get lost, get stolen, or get outdated, and in the end, they’re just one more thing to schlep around with you on your journey through life. With that said, I must admit that there are a few items that I very much enjoy from day to day: my pearlescent red Italian accordion named Jeroma, a breezy (and stylish) white summer button-up shirt, the bottle-green hookah pipe with gilt fittings for the occasional social indulgence, an Aiwa stereo system, and a handful of other treasures.

The interesting thing is that all of the above were given to me as gifts, and all but the accordion I received by participating in Lexington’s Really Really Free Market. The RRFM is an experimental temporary gift economy, where rather than buying and selling, or even bartering, the rule is that you give and receive freely. Even though you aren’t trying to maximize your gain, as in a competitive market, I find every time that most folks end up happy: happy to sit near their blanket-o-stuff in the sun, happy to give away things they no longer need, and ecstatic when they walk away with things they do want or need—such as a functional rowing machine—for FREE!

Start collecting your unwanted treasures now. The next market will happen near the gazebo at Woodland Park on Saturday, August 24, 12-4pm. We would really love to see people offer up their skills—hair-cutting, bike-fixing, food-cooking, face-painting, what-have-you—as a free service during this festival of generosity. And it’s at the park, so bring your kids!

The rules are simple: give and receive freely (no money or barter, no ads), be nice, and take your leftover stuff with you when you leave. Be sure to clearly mark personal items you don’t want people to take, or leave that stuff in your car.

My measure of the success of past markets is the number of participants who are smiling by the end: it sure beats the feeling of shelling out your hard-earned cash for plastic crap at Walmart or some other faceless, soul-less corporation.

You can join the Lexington Really Really Free Market Facebook group and contact John O’Shea (859-951-8649) if you want to help organize the next one.

See you there!

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