Monday, April 15, 2013

A to Z Challenge


My  mother used to make several jars of Guava jelly whenever our Guava tree had dozens of big juicy ripe guavas. She would then send the jelly jars to our auntie, to our grandma, to our neighbors and our friends. My brothers were the ones who always did the job of delivering them. I do not recall even one time when my brother did not return with a gift of some fruit or some treat covered with a nicely decorated cloth. Almost every family was in need of some treat as resources were limited. This way the exchange of gifts made it easier for parents to provide something different for their kids. We would be thankful and eagerly enjoyed the goodies. My mother hoped that people enjoyed her jelly as well. 

Our milkman's wife would give us some fresh curds whenever my mom made a dress for her babies. My grandmother used to explain to us that this is the way people can not only show gratitude but save some money. Later on in life we learned that this was a method called barter, except that in the case of family or friends it was an unspoken exchange. I really do not know how and when money sneaked into our lives. I mean, there is a whole chapter of the history of money that is really boring. 


It was so much easier when our father was in charge of the budget and we just had to be responsible for our own little allowance, which our mom monitored anyway. I wish that I could go back to those times when I did not have to deal with bills in the mail or to have to balance the checkbook, or even keep receipts for tax refunds. When I say this my husband  laughs and says that I should not be talking like this because I had Economics for my major and what is Economics without money. Now how can I explain it to him, that money is not a resource, it is only a measurement of exchange for the resources we need in our lives. It is only a means.


Ruth said...

I am with you. Sometimes I miss being little so I didn't have to pay bills. I like the idea of a barter system. A couple years ago, we traded some stuff from the garden for some fresh eggs.

Chatty Crone said...

Wasn't everything easier when we were little - lol? sandie

Launna said...

Great post Munir... I tell my little one to really enjoy her youth... growing up means working and paying bills.... not so fun :/

Shelly said...

It certainly does complicate things.

And I love guava!

Joy V. Smith said...

Good background for a money post, and I like your illo. And I love the background book shelves full of colorful books, which I don't recall seeing before. Oh, have you ever had guava paste? Sometimes served as a dessert.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir - I can't say guava is my favourite .. but I know how good it is - we must have had guava jam in South Africa ... but I hardly eat jams etc ... I love the bartering idea - yet it's the norm for families to swap and exchange ... just helps the family world go round.

Bartering was done a lot with Eastern Europe ... I had a Polish sewing machine for many a year .. it was a barter product with the finance- manufacturing company I worked for...

Interesting - and budgeting as a kid was much easier than real life! Cheers Hilary

Teresa Cypher said...

Wonderful post, Munir. I think your mother taught you much about having a good heart. :-) Money--and you are right. There is not actual joy, or fulfillment of a need by holding a handful of money. But your husband's comment did make me smile. :-)

Is there a distinction between bartering and giving? I think there might be, but I could be totally wrong. To me, giving--like your mom did with the jelly, is a gift. Just pure generosity with no expectations of anything being given back.

Bartering is a means of acquiring resources by by exchanging come of your own resources. I think it's a wonderful "economy"--trading labor, expertise, knowledge or goods. I like the stories of the old country doctors during the great depression here in the USA, and how their farmer customers paid for the doctors' visits with milk, butter, fruits and vegetables, etc. A good way to live. :-)

Excellent post. I hope you feel better. :-_)

Ghadeer said...

Ironically enough, I wish I'll never have to deal with money too, but that's abit difficult considering I'll be an accountant soon!

darlin said...

I only wish life were so simple, if we could turn back time I'd do so in a heartbeat. On the farm the farmers would help one another with backbreaking chores, the wives would cook up a feast and in the evenings the fiddles, guitars and other instruments would come out. I miss people stopping by for no other reason than to visit and enjoy a cup of coffee or a baked treat of some type.

We have become way to capitalistic and unfortunately society reflects this. I'd much rather have the cheese curds as an exchange than money for doing something for someone. Money hardens a relationship in my opinion.

On that happy note... have a wonderful week!