It’s usually the most important and valuable purchase you’ll ever make – your home. Most of us spend a good chunk of our working existence toiling to repay an enormous sum of money (often double when you add mortgage interest) just for a place to live.
So would you give it away for free to a complete stranger?
“Well, of course not,” you might say. But, believe it or not, there’s a good chance that you might – if the context was different. Let me explain.
I’m lucky. I own my own home. I got all that mortgage scam out of the way years ago and was lucky to own my own home outright relatively early in life. So, would I give it away to a complete stranger? Well, at this precise moment in time, probably not and for two reasons: 1. I happen to like my home and don’t want a different one, and 2. if I gave away my house now I would be homeless.
Yes I know, number two is stonkingly obvious – but what if giving away your house did NOT leave you homeless?
Imagine, for example, that there was a website where you could offer to give your house away to a stranger, who, of course, would happily take it off your hands. And then imagine that on this same website, there were also hundreds or even thousands of other houses just like yours – also freely available?
Suddenly, giving your house away doesn’t seem like such a big deal, does it? You could happily give yours away and find another home for yourself and your family – just as free as yours.
So, when you think about it, it’s not actually the ‘value’ in your house that makes you want to keep it. It’s the social context. And that context can change.
Now what if I told you that such a website already exists?
I’m talking about Freeworlder.com. It’s a global free-sharing network where everyone gives, receives and shares goods and services. There’s no payment, no exchange, nada. Just people giving and doing free stuff. Why? Because when enough people do that, they are creating precisely this new social context – one where the value is not in things, but in life and relationships.
There aren’t any houses listed on there just yet, but it’s definitely coming. Today’s users are offering items of small value and services that they can happily provide freely with no cost to them. And, to keep it fair, you can track how many times users are giving and receiving, so you know who you’re dealing with.
Though still in its infancy, once confidence in this free economy grows, we will start to see higher value items coming on-stream.
Don’t pack your boxes just yet, but maybe you can help build confidence in this fledgling free community so we can all some day escape the nonsense of competitive, destructive human existence and create happier, more connected communities that work for everyone.