God, Hope & Helping Others
If someone had told me seven years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I'd now be living without money, I'd have probably choked on my TV dinner.
The plan back then was to get a 'good' job, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would convince society (and me) that I was successful.
And for a while I did -- I had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company, a yacht on the harbor, and if it hadn't been for a massive change in perspective, I'd still be doing it today.
Instead, for the last 20 months, I haven't spent or received a single penny.
My experience of this life-changing journey into the moneyless unknown, and the philosophy behind it, compose my book, "The Moneyless Man," to which my proceeds are going to a Charitable Trust, details of which are in the book.
The change in life path came one evening on the yacht whilst philosophizing with a friend over a glass of Merlot.
I had always been intrigued by Mahatma Gandhi's quote 'Be the change you want to see in the world'.
But until then, I had no idea what that change was.
My friend and I began talking about major issues in the world -- environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labor -- and wondering which of these we would be best devoting our lives to.
But that evening I had a realization.
These issues weren't as unrelated as I had previously thought -- they had a common root cause.
Because of money, we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on other people and the environment.
The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have become so wide that we're now completely unaware of the destruction and suffering that is embodied in the 'stuff' we buy.
Take this for an example.
If we grew our own food, we wouldn't waste a third of it as we do today.
If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn't throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor.
If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn't use it down our toilets.
To be the change I wanted to see in the world, I decided I was going to have to give up money.
I committed to a year of cashless living.
I knew it wasn't going to be easy, so I made a list of the basics I'd need to survive.
I adore food, so it was at the top.
There are four legs to the food for free table -- foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub (of which there is far too much).
To launch my moneyless year, I fed a three course meal to 150 people, solely with waste and foraged food.
However, most of the year, my food was mainly supplied by my own crops.
I cooked outside -- rain or shine -- on a rocket stove I made.
Next up was shelter...
Boyle's book Moneyless Man (shortened Amazon link)
Boyle's FB page:
related in NSearch:
image credit (shortened MetroFrance link)
This week on the BBC's One Planet show we head off to Bath in South West England to meet a man called Mark Boyle who lives without spending any money.
Here he shows you how he does it.