Income sharing, in it’s simplest of definitions is the sharing of one’s income with a larger group or community. In our world today, we tend to think of income as the money that one makes at a job or through a business. What we at TCUP call income sharing could really be defined as “shared resources”. Resources can be anything from time, money, vehicles, dish washing, food, devices, books, living space, emotional support, insight, and more. The idea behind this type of income, or resource sharing, is that everyone, and the resources that they share are regarded as equal. An hour spent washing dishes is just as valuable as an hour splitting wood. An hour gathering building materials and making community connections, is just as valuable as an hour earning money at an outside job. The way it works, is that everything we gain personally, the community gains as a whole. Everything we need personally, the community provides for us. From day to day this can mean organizing who gets what vehicles when, how we can meet our financial means, and figuring out how we can spend our time to fulfill ourselves through fulfilling our community. It means that when one of us goes to work, the income goes into a shared bank account, which buys our food, pays for our phones, and pays for the land and other physical tools. It means that when one of us grows a garden or cooks a meal, the food is for everyone. The firewood and the herbs we harvest, are for everyone.
Coming away from an individualistic culture, we have lots of instilled beliefs and feelings around our resources being individually our own. We often desire to obtain more personal gain. A desire to income share requires that we look outside of these patterns and beliefs that we’ve developed and been taught of individualism and consumerism. Income sharing requires that we recognize the impact of our time spent, or our things bought, on the world around us. It requires that we be willing to share. In the nitty gritty, it might mean that if you leave your sock laying around, someone might put them on, or someone might ask you to help with something that isn’t your favorite thing to do.
While we are income sharing as a community, we do still retain our individualism and a certain amount of personal resource. None of your past acquired resources are required from you to join TCUP. We gift ourselves to you and your commitment to us and we ask that you do the same in gifting yourself to us. What we give and do for the community, we do out of our interest in the community and expect nothing out of it if we are to leave. Every community member receives a monthly stipend, amount pending. We sometimes think of this money as beer and icecream money, and is helpful for each member to have a small amount of personal resource spending power in recognizing that we’re all coming from a individualist consumerist culture and there are things we are accustomed to having that don’t necessarily count as “community needs”. Certain projects that we do often have an air of being our personal project, while the outcome is to be shared with the community. And of course we all allow ourselves space and time to dedicate to our artistic gifts, our learning interests and developing ourselves as people.
It’s not about what’s right or wrong, but rather, what works. While we would love for all of us to be able to do and have exactly what want all the time, often we need to be able to look outside of our personal wants, to what the community needs and to recognize that if our wants are a flourishing community, than even doing tasks we don’t like can be part of realizing what we want. That being said, we are an odd bunch, who enjoy chopping wood, weeding and gathering materials. We enjoy our work and most of the time, the thing we want to do, and what the community needs, are inline.
As far as membership process goes, we’re a developing community, and a membership process is something that we invite people to come and help us develop and evolve through their own interest in becoming a part of TCUP.
What are you looking for? Are you looking to expand your life through the possibility of working together with people and with the land? Are you interested in being able to practice conscience communication with the people you live and work with? Are you dedicated to your development as a person, to be your fullest and most creative, able-self possible? Are you looking to have access to live on and work with wild and domesticated land, plants and animals? Do you desire to be closer connected with what provides your sustenance? Do you like to live, work with and be around people you know well, as well as children, guests, and visitors? Are you looking for somewhere to grow your roots?
What we are looking for. We seek people to co-create our vision of community alongside us. We are looking for people who are interested in developing their land-based skills to help us develop and further our community. We need builders, woods(wo)men, communicators, growers, planners, herbalists, crafts(wo)men. We need people interested in developing business from value-added, land based products. We need people interested in engaging with, and working with children, people interested in hosting workshops and providing other educational opportunities. We have lots of exciting ideas and dreams and we are opening and encouraging for new ideas and dreams from you.