Your Lifestyle Purpose in the Wider Community
Trade has always been at the heart of community. Some say prostitution is the oldest profession. But humanity must have established trade for all professions to emerge. Professions emerge to meet needs and wants from the wider community and so trade is normally closely related to community. Lifestyle purpose in the wider community is relevant and important.
Think Global, Act Local
People used this slogan during the eighties as globalisation moved centre stage. We have seen massive changes since then in the way we understand trade.
The silk roads across Asia existed for at least 1000 years, probably a lot longer. They link China to the Mediterranean Sea. They still do, or would, were it not for conflicts in Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Plundered wealth from the New World added a new dimension to world trade, as Europe found a new source of wealth.
Mostly, people bought from merchants who lived close by and so localised trade. Those merchants traded with other merchants and so brought more exotic products to local communities.
What has changed is not that the world has started to trade between far-flung countries but control of that trade. Large corporations centralise power over the markets. They accumulate wealth by controlling the products on the market. Local traders must find a small niche to help them find their place in the economy.
My aim here is to suggest trade happens anyway; we do not need corporations. Any small business helps create space where local economies thrive and adds value to products and services.
The agora or marketplace, is where the local economy happens and note it is the core of any community. Community does not create wealth, wealth creates community. Look at what happens to neighbourhoods that do not have an economic centre. They become estates where people live with little autonomy.
The wealth of a community offers freedom to its members. With more money in circulation, there are more opportunities for small businesses; capacity offers niches for new enterprises.
Everything else that is public or Negotium, takes place in the Agora. This is the place for government, for law courts, places of worship, news, debate, entertainment … It is where people bring what they develop in Otium and use it to build community, usually through business.
It is hard to see a way forward in the present day. With too little wealth in the economy, we do not see the Agora as a whole; we compartmentalise our lives, fully assisted by electronic media.
The world is on the brink of massive changes as climate change increases and competition over resources becomes more pressing. We need to look to the past to inform how we exist in the future.
For now, remember the way you use your time is important to you, your family and friends.
Communication is currently easier than it was throughout history and we should use it while we have it. At the same time, it is the human mind that transforms information into value. That value is not solely monetary, it is in the relationships that trade properly depends upon.
Ultimately the outcomes of our business are not financial so much as relationships, the common causes we make together.
Visit my new website, Market Together to sign up to my list so that you don’t miss any posts and hear about the exciting plans I’m working on to promote an alternative approach to marketing.
Please comment and let me know what you like about this post. What would you like me to write about further?