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Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?
 

Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?

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Based on a chapter of the book The Gift by Lewis Hyde, this deck compares the practice of giving away one's expertise for free to the tribe-building Kula gift ceremonies of the Massim people of the ...

Based on a chapter of the book The Gift by Lewis Hyde, this deck compares the practice of giving away one's expertise for free to the tribe-building Kula gift ceremonies of the Massim people of the South Pacific. Knowledge-sharing not only creates a better world, but brings esteem, loyalty, and authority back to the one who shares it. For more see http://bit.ly/XjbFpG

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    Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise? Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise? Document Transcript

    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?This deck is based on the opening chapter of "The Gift: Creativity & the Artist in the ModernWorld" by Lewis Hyde
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Author Lewis Hyde
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Gifts in MotionEarly in the book, Hyde introduces us to the Kula, a ceremonial, never-ending gift exchangepracticed by the people of the Massim archipelago off New Guinea. There are two kinds ofgifts, armshells (a shell ring worn about the wrist) and shell necklaces.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?The Kula Gift CircleThese gifts are exchanged around the archipelago in a circular motion; one going clockwiseand the other counterclockwise. Anyone receiving one gift is expected to reciprocate with theequivalent value of the other kind within no more than a year. In this way, the gifts arecontinually in motion, travelling from island to island in a cycle that stretches from two to tenyears for any one gift before it returns to its originator.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Gift Giving Creates ImbalanceHyde comments, “…at the level of each man there will be the sense of imbalance, of shiftingweight, that always marks a gift exchange.”Take note of that: giving a gift creates a (temporary) imbalance. The giver is withoutsomething, and the recipient has acquired a social obligation (to reciprocate and to move thegift along).
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Imbalance Creates MotionSo the important thing is the motion, and the motion is fueled by temporary loss ofequilibrium.A human preparing to run actually leans forward, intentionally (though not consciously)throwing off his balance, which is corrected by putting the first foot forward–as step. Therunner in motion is someone continually falling forward. The lean is the loss of equilibrium;the step is the “gift” that restores it.In this way circular giving keeps a flow of new life traveling through the tribe, even amongwidely scattered islands in an archipelago.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Kula Giving Is Non-ReciprocalKula is non-linear and therefore not really reciprocal. It requires at least three parties (inreality, of course, many more are involved), and the same gift doesn’t immediately return tothe giver.Hyde points out that most folk tales involving gifts have at least three people in them,establishing the minimum for a circle. The circle helps perpetuate dis-equilibrium and motion.No one ever receives the same gift from the same person.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?The Gift Goes "Around a Corner"I may give arm shells to my neighbor to the west, but I will never get arm shells back fromhim. I have to give “blindly” and have “blind gratitude” as well. The gift “goes around acorner” as it were, before it comes back, and I usually will be unaware of all the connectionsit went through before it does return.When a gift has passed out of sight, it can’t be manipulated by the giver.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Kula: Circulatory System of the TribeSo the continual cycle of Kula giving creates a circulatory system that reinforces andstrengthens tribal bonds. Keeping Kula means traveling to adjacent islands in order for theexchange to take place. preventing isolationism. The times of Kula ceremonies are times ofexchanging much more than just the physical gifts: news, information, etc. are exchanged aswell.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Kula Builds TribesWhen experts do Kula, they keep the world moving and build tribes.Kula is the recognition that what we have is a gift.And by sharing the Kula of your expertise, you build a tribe that you are a part of. Far offpeoples will benefit from you around the blind corner of the giving, and the whole tribe getsbetter because of it. And that means you get better too, for you are part of the tribe.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Your Kula Gift: Your Expertise
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Benefit 1: The Tribe ThrivesExpertise passed on becomes a seed leading to new and expanded knowledge, benefiting all.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Benefit 2: Esteem Flows to GiverThe next three benefits cant be manufactured or manipulated by the giver, but to those whoregularly and freely give, they will inevitably come.The first is the esteem or respect of those associated with the giver.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Benefit 3: Loyalty Flows to the GiverA generous sharer of expertise will eventually attract a following who are willing and happy torecommend them and lend support when needed.
    • Circle of Giving: Why Give Away Your Expertise?Benefit 4: Authority Flows to the GiverAuthority is the right to lead. It is the establishment of a voice worth being heard. The giverof expertise earns and establishes authority.(For a fuller treatment of this topic, see my post at http://bit.ly/XjbFpG)