The following is a story written by Dan Brook, Ph.D., a member based in San Francisco, CA. Dan is a professor of political science and sociology, and has deep interests in health, environment, writing, social change, and travel, among a wide array of other topics. As an activist, he seeks to organize for better lives.
My family and I have long and happily been involved in things like CouchSurfing, Really Really Free Market, Curry Without Worry, Craigslist Free and Barter, Peace in the Park, Harmonic Humanity, Food Not Bombs, SF Veg Society, Occupy, Alemany Farm, SF Food Bank, Yeashore, beach bonfires and cleanups, veg activism, political campaigning, and other non-monetary, pro-community, eco-sustainable ideas, activities, organizations, and communities.
When my son told me about Simbi, and that he was offering his services for Latin translation and tutoring, I quickly signed up and offered my services, too. So it’s a generational affair! And then I added some more services. And, of course I have invited friends to join Simbi, as well as others in my social networks, so we can cooperatively grow together. The late Sen. Paul Wellstone once said, “We all do better when we all do better”, so let’s all do better together!
It’s so nice to have a (mostly virtual) community that is parallel to capitalism, where we can all do better with symbiotic bartering and without hierarchy, coercion, and exploitation.
Already I’ve met some great people on Simbi, both employees as well as other community members like me, and I’ve had some fascinating and rewarding discussions and exchanges about business ideas, vegetarian recipes, scones, lemon bars, coconut milk yogurt, wine, haiku, marriage, words, insects, school, community, kindness, duality, dream interpretation, writing, love letters, and life. Some of these have been exchanges for simbi or services, but some have simply been pleasant discussions, because that’s what community is all about. In these ways, Simbi has enriched my life.
I recommend people reaching out to their fellow Simbians to chat as well as listing as many services as you can and searching for and matching for services you might be interested in. There are undoubtedly Simbians and services out there for you — and you, and you — even if you can’t yet imagine that you need or want them! And, despite what you might have been warned against, it can be a great experience to talk with strangers, regardless of how strange they — or you, or you — might be. It’s not uncommon, as you know, for strangers to become friends.
Thanks to the Simbi community, I’m thinking about taking Indian vegetarian cooking classes, learning to make Vietnamese tofu spring rolls, using virtual and research assistants, getting professional book cover design, having someone help me market my ebooks and cookbook, translating my web sites (into Italian, German, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Hebrew, Yiddish, and others), and possibly even getting some goat time (that’s something I didn’t know I wanted until I came across it on Simbi!). Who knows what else this cool community will organically develop and present?
It has been wisely said that “to give is a form of receiving” and I admit to enjoying both sides of that socially alchemical equation. What I didn’t expect from Simbi was the community feel, the warm fuzzies I would get from the meaningful and often serendipitous discussions I would have with kind people who I don’t know. Symbiosis unbound.
I look forward to getting further enmeshed in this wonderful network of Simbians and symbiotically growing it, so we can collectively expand our mutual circles of compassion, creativity, and community for better lives in a better world!
Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.