If you have an interest in getting money given to you by strangers, you might be equally interested to know that September 15 is Free Money Day (via GOOD). So, on Saturday of this week, you will find individuals standing on street corners not ASKING for change, but giving it out. And if you’re so inclined, you can just as easily be a distributor of money as a recipient (you need to give away your own money).
Why free money day? It’s an effort to encourage conversation and focus attention on an economy built more on sharing than holding, and an economy that encourages multiple paths to well-being beyond just ‘more’. If you are the lucky recipient of some money on Free Money Day, you will be encouraged to give half of what you received to someone else. And on, and on, and on.
Why September 15? That happens to be the day that Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, during the dive of the financial crisis. It also happens to be the International Day of Democracy. Consider it a case-in-point about how wanting more and more for yourself may not always lead to a more vibrant democracy. Just a thought.
Arts organizations, particularly nonprofit ones, live and thrive not only on the money economy, but on the gift economy. Perhaps we should embrace Free Money Day as our national holiday, and rather than running to the corner to grab some, we should stand on the corner and give.