i can’t afford it

i’m going to disprove the ‘i can’t afford it’ mentality with this site. you can afford everything you need (and a lot of things you want too).

let’s take a quick trip to the crossroads of etymology and psychology. afford traces back to Old English geforðian – ‘to send out, promote, carry out.[1]’ but when you look up afford in almost any dictionary, the first definition is the way most of us mean/use it. google has it as ‘have enough money to pay for.’

that is problem number one – we now associate affording stuff with money. this is bad! this definition asserts that money is the only vehicle for obtaining anything. sadly, this is the belief that pervades. this definition creates a deeply embedded mental obstacle that stands between you and what you need/want. observe the expression, ‘money is no object …’ the unspoken ending is ‘ … in my way.’ well how nice for them.

never associate afford with money.

the second definition (google, currently) is ‘provide or supply (an opportunity or facility).’ oddly enough, we usually use this form of the verb in describing non-living things as in ‘the balcony affords a lovely view of the ocean’ or ‘the wall affords us so much more job security.’

if we apply this definition to ourselves, we can afford just about anything. the only requirement is that we can provide or supply the bearer of that something with an exchange of similar value.

for some reason, there’s a present-day stigma around bartering or trading, as if it were some uncivilized practice. that’s madness. trading is the most direct exchange of effort and energy. maybe we just stopped trusting one another. but if trust is the issue, then an online platform that facilitates trade should lend some security.

just read the reviews.

permuta seeks to be the best platform for trading services and goods. instead of using a points system that can be accumulated like favors, we recommend that members leave reviews after a trade. other members can read reviews and mark them as helpful or not helpful. the plan is to use word analysis at some point to build a descriptive tag cloud associated with each member account. i hope that this will be much more helpful than a star rating system. as far as our membership (hate that word but not sure what else to call ‘us’), i hope that we will form actual relationships in the real world, build trust, get everything that we need, and free ourselves to do more fulfilling activities.

Photo by Xavi Cabrera on Unsplash

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/afford

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