Giving and Receving Gifts: Embracing a New* Kind of Economy

At the onset of 2015, I fully embraced the gift economy, choosing to live in and co-create a world where I share my gifts as freely as possible, and allow others express gratitude for those gifts however they choose or are able.

I do this because I believe in global justice, see economic justice as fundamental to that goal, and wish to contribute toward global justice and inspire others to do so on the individual level, as much as I work toward justice on the collective level.

I started dabbling in this world in 2011 when I encouraged others to use my work however they wanted (I called it the “share/borrow/steal” rule). My commitment deepened when I released my first book “Pay what you want”, something unheard of for gender studies books. And I enveloped myself further in this idea when I released the copyright on my work later that year in 2013. But the one thing that catalyzed my sentiments into a concrete path of action was Charles Eisenstein’s book Sacred Economicswherein he demonstrates the need and provides a framework for a gift-based, socially just economy.

I give my gifts freely, and I allow others to reciprocate gifts, if they choose.

Part of this commitment — perhaps the most difficult part for me — requires that I embrace both sides of the gift economy: freely giving my gifts, but also allowing others to express their gratitude freely to me.

I’ve always been better at the former than the latter, choosing to eschew payment for much of my work, which allows me to not unpack the guilt and shame that come from a childhood and adulthood of poverty, and live the life of the martyr. In my commitment to being part of this more beautiful world my heart knows is possible, I must show myself the same compassion and empathy I show others, and expect others to show themselves and others beyond.

In that spirit, below are a variety of ways you can, if you feel the need and/or want to, express gratitude for the gifts I’ve provided (but please do not feel any pressure whatsoever).

To gift me kind words

gift-wordsIf you’d like to write me an expression of your gratitude, you may do so electronically via email (to sam[at]samuelkillermann[dawt]com), or any of the other contact methods on the contact page, or

If you’d like to send me a handwritten note, aim it at
Sam Killermann
P.O. Box 684412
Austin, TX 78768

To gift me money

gift-moneyYou can use Paypal (to sam[at]itspronouncedmetrosexual[dawt]com),

Bitcoin (to 1PnB27VguXF9McdLpJY4zvHTbPeWD7bGuc), or

send a check (to Sam Killermann, P.O. Box 684412 Austin, TX 78768), if that’s your sort of thing.

To gift me a thing I can use

gift-thingI have a public Amazon Wishlist here that is full of tools I plan to buy when I have the money. These will allow me to work more efficiently or effectively. Consider this a gift that keeps on giving.

If you’d like to gift me something more personal, I am unable to accept deliveries at my P.O. Box. Also, as a general note, I am not overly fond of things, but I am fond of creativity and intention. Perhaps the next section will help clarify what to do.

To gift me your time, or something else

Check out the collaboration page for projects I need help with, requesting gifts in the forms of talents and skills, or just get in touch and let me know what you have in mind.

I live minimally, so I don’t request (and will not benefit from) anything extravagant, but I am also open to expressions of gratitude folks may want to offer for which I’m not prepared to ask.

*But this idea is really anything but new

The gift economy isn’t actually anything new. In reality, it was how all this civilization stuff got started several thousand years ago. But it is now making a resurgence in a lot of communities, which is what brought it my attention. When I first started reading about the concept, I couldn’t help but think that it sounded a whole lot like social justice.

You can read more about the gift economy, in the ways I’m attempting to uphold the idea, in The GiftSacred Economics, or The Art of Asking.