Yesterday, we discussed our competitive culture, and how we’re told life is a race that we all fight to win. It’s a lonely way of seeing the world, don’t you think? Another way our war economy has isolated us from each other is by turning our relationships into transactions.
In our modern world, many of our relationships have been converted to monetary transactions, all in the name of “efficiency”. We’ve become so accustomed to paying cashiers and servers for groceries and restaurant meals that we barely recall that we used to grow and cook food together as a community. We’ve turned knowledge exchange into a transaction by paying “experts” to write books that we drill into students’ minds, instead of learning from our lived experience and the wisdom of our ancestors before us as we once did.
This market-based way of relating carries over to our non-monetized relationships as well. We often think: I’ll do this for you if you’ll do that for me. And to our fast-paced society, getting things done is more important than cultivating a real relationship to ourselves and our community. We value efficiency over connection and nourishing our souls. This shows up in many ways: an organization that views their membership as a faceless list of people to use for mass mobilizations rather than individuals with their own desires and passions to connect to; a person who goes out on a date for a free dinner instead of an authentic connection; a politician who makes connections for votes and abandons them post-election.
But as we’ve talked about, our relationships are what keep us alive. Learning how to nourish them for their own sake is one of the many effective ways we can divest from the war economy.
Today, explore the ways you’ve acted in a transactional way - where do you find this showing up in your every day? How can you pivot to a more relational, soul-nourishing way of interacting?
Check out our list of transactional and relational behaviors, and share them if they resonate for you!