Many potential members, when applying to join the Talent Exchange, have a problem when faced with deciding what they will offer the community. “I don’t have anything to offer”, “I’ve got nothing that anyone wants”, “I don’t think anyone would want what I do at work”, “I don’t have any useful skills” or “I’m pretty useless at helping others” are oft heard refrains.

Most of these reactions stem from a lack of self-confidence and self-worth, which stem from a lack of self-reliance. If you consider the jobs that many people do, you will realise that practically all of these have nothing to do with the survival of the individual – apart from generating a wage or salary off which they purchase their means of life. It is a sad state of affairs that practically all of us have lost the ability to fend for ourselves. Our money-earning jobs have become so narrowly defined, and we have become so proficient at that narrow slice of life, that we can barely do anything else to ensure our survival should we lose the money source.

Apart from the precarious situation this creates, it also means that we become increasingly dependent on “the system” for our survival. We lose track of how our narrow little job contributes to the overall functioning of “the economy”. In many cases, our contribution subtracted from “the economy” would make zero difference to it at all. We have abandoned self-reliance for the pay packet, which we assume will always provide for our needs. With it we put up with jobs we hate and live as wage and debt slaves servicing the wealth-generating efforts of others.

The Talent Exchange is a key to help us escape this “money prison”. It aims to put us back in contact with our community and ourselves. It helps us to exist outside the “job container” and learn that we are all useful human beings who can look after ourselves and our neighbours.

When faced with the question of what you can offer on the Talent Exchange, ask yourself what you like doing. What is your passion? In your dreams, what would you like to provide to others; how would you like to help others? The more you think about these things the more you will gain self-confidence and realise that you are a useful human being who does possess skills and talents. It is the conventional “economy” that makes you feel useless and helpless.