I found this idea in Mark Boyles book the Moneyless Manifesto and it has revolutionised my thinking.
The Progression of Principles (POP) model can be used by ‘anyone who wants to live closer to their ideals, regardless of whether you want to live moneyless, as part of any religious or spiritual community, or in the Transition movement itself, just to pick a few examples.’
The POP model is brilliant in its simplicity and you can make it fit any circumstances.
HOW IT WORKS
As you work out your POP model it will naturally have between three and eight levels although it can be as long or as short as you want it to be.
The model is pretty much self-explanatory, so here is my favourite example from Mark’s book. He is talking about transport and how he can move from level 6, driving a car (there could even be a level 7 here, driving a normal car), to level 1, walking barefoot.
Level 1 (100% local gift economy): Walking barefoot, connecting with the earth beneath my feet.
Level 2: Walking in shoes I made myself (or were unconditionally gifted to me) from local materials.
Level 3: Walking in shoes I bartered for, which were made from local materials.
Level 4: Walking in trainers made in a Chinese factory.
Level 5: Cycling on an industrial scale bicycle.
Level 6: (100% global monetary economy): Driving a hybrid car.
In this scenario level 1 may be seen as being extreme and undesirable by most people. That’s fine because this is not your POP model, it’s Mark’s. Maybe in your model cycling would be your ultimate goal and your in-between levels included car-pooling and public transport. The model is yours, the decisions on the levels are yours and the distances between the levels is your decision to make.
Start where you are and write down where you want to get to, then start making small steps to get from one level to the next. It will take as long as it takes. You may never get to level 1, but if you get to level 3 from level 6 that is quite a long journey you have taken. Maybe that is far enough for you at this point in time. Turn your energy to something else and come back to this at a later date if you feel you have to.
Mark Boyle makes a very good point when talking about the POP model. Every POP model is unique because every person has a different goal and our reason for making the changes vary. ‘Yet there is a common thread running through them all – the simple fact that each one of us has observed a world gone horribly wrong on every level of life, and because each of us wants to create new stories to live our lives by, new ways of being that uplift instead of enslave. We want lives based on trust and relationship rather than distrust and impersonalisation.’