22 August 2022
Kamál, 03 Asmá’ (Names), 179 B.E
My crop of giant foxtail (Setari faberi) bent over due to the heavy rains and stiff breezes this past weekend:
Maybe they’ll straighten up as the sun shines on them and they dry out.
An invasive, non-native species that seems to be a bane to corn-growers. It does have some redeeming qualities with birds during the late fall and winter months:
The seeds are eaten by the Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel and many kinds of birds (see Bird Table). Because of the abundance of these weedy grasses and the popularity of their seeds, Setaria spp. are one of the most important sources of food for birds.
Inspired by an email from a colleague, I did a riff on “frugality” and posted it to GAVNet News.
And again, based on input from a colleague, this time, Michael Greenman, I completed the first draft of a separate, longer post to follow that starts my odyssey into the three-pronged topic of a time-based economy, time as a currency, and the role of timebanking in capturing the value of generated by humans doing what they do best — being human.
Here are the opening paragraphs to give you a taste:
Earlier this week, Michael Greenman referred me to a presentation he received about the Uganda chapter of Youth TimeBanking-Global (YTB-Global) called YTB Uganda. The initiative is one of those “good news, bad news” stories. Explaining why offers the opportunity to get started unpacking the topic and description of a time-based economy, time as a currency, and timebanking.
Let’s start with a quick overview of our current global monetary system and how it influences the way we spend our time. Basically, our time is divided into two buckets: necessary (time spent doing work that generates income used to secure basic needs) and discretionary (time spent being of service, engaging in recreation, and pursuing self-actualization). Timebanking currently operates within the global monetary system out of the discretionary bucket. In other words, if my basic needs are met and there are hours of the day remaining, I can participate in timebank exchanges.
In the case of Ugandan children, they have their basic needs met through the care provided by adults in their communities and they use their discretionary time in YTB Uganda activities / exchanges. The good news is that the community system sees to it that the basic needs of the children within it are taken care of so those children can be of service in such amazing ways. The bad news is that such a system is fragile because, at the end of the day, the community system runs on money to secure its basic needs. The investment value of money, the availability of paid work for adults in the community to earn money, and the value of basic goods in terms of their cost are each susceptible to extreme variability given market volatility. And if the value equation for money doesn’t provide basic needs, discretionary time wanes and disappears which curtails programs like YTB Uganda.
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Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed the promise of the oneness of humanity. Therefore, we must exercise the utmost love toward each other. We must be loving to all the people of the world. We must not consider any people the people of Satan, but know and recognize all as the servants of the one God. At most it is this: Some do not know; they must be guided and trained. They must be taught to love their fellow creatures and be encouraged in the acquisition of virtues. Some are ignorant; they must be informed. Some are as children, undeveloped; they must be helped to reach maturity. Some are ailing, their moral condition is unhealthy; they must be treated until their morals are purified. But the sick man is not to be hated because he is sick, the child must not be shunned because he is a child, the ignorant one is not to be despised because he lacks knowledge. They must all be treated, educated, trained and assisted in love. Everything must be done in order that humanity may live under the shadow of God in the utmost security, enjoying happiness in its highest degree. 1
- ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ʻAbduʼl-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912. Edited by Howard MacNutt. 2nd ed. Wilmette, Ill: Baháʼí Publishing Trust, 1982, 269-270. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/promulgation-universal-peace/19#451722796 [return]