Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

It's finally here!!!! We'll be spending the day baking and getting the house ready for our pre-trick-or-treat party.

I found this article about Halloween this morning. I love it but hesitated to post it for reasons I'll explain below.

It touches on so many things I care about. The message about talking to, and even (gasp!) taking candy from strangers reminds me of my own first dilemma about that issue while walking in a park with a then-toddling Riley (now 10). We were approached by a sweet, friendly homeless man who wanted to chat and whose heart seemed truly warmed by the antics of a carefree, joyous little kid. Fear and judgment (the automatic, prejudicial kind) and rote "don't talk to strangers" rules popped into my head and conflicted with compassion and unity and the *other* kind of judgment (as in gut feeling/intuition) that this guy was okay. It was an early instance of rethinking how I wanted to live with my child and started me on a path toward a more mindful, present, principled approach and away from pre-ordained rules and have-to's and because-I-said-so's.

The author also talks about trick-or-treating as an excellent example of free-market economy. I had been thinking the last few days about trick-or-treating as a perfect example of a voluntary "gift economy," something I just heard of recently and have been trying to learn a bit about. I would have thought those were opposite conclusions, but then I don't understand large economic systems very well! There's always more to learn!

The reason I hesitated to post it is that it is obviously anarchist, an ideal I share but, because of the popular & unfortunate image of chaos and violence associated with the word "anarchy," I tend to use the term "voluntaryist" as it is more clearly about nonviolent/peaceful & truly voluntary relationships. I love that the author of this article was able to talk about that kind of anarchist vision: genuine community and genuine, people-driven giving and the motivation of gratitude and joy in contrast to that of force & violence inherent in coercive institutions.

Off my soapbox and into my kitchen...

Happy Halloween!

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