“Every capacity that has enabled our species to survive, such as caring for each other, trusting each other, relying on each other, has become excluded from our economic system and I realized that there was no way we were going to build communities we wanted to live in if we didn’t completely reassess our value system and start rewarding human as well as financial contributions.” Edgar Cahn, founder, Time Banking movement.
Every now and then a documentary comes along that fills you with a sense of excitement and hope. Fixing The Future is a documentary on PBS that invites Americans to find out what can work where they live to fix their communities. One of the subjects of the film is the Hour Exchange Portland AmeriCorp*VISTAs, Oregon. It’s a bank that does not involve the exchange of money but rather focuses on social capital. You can invest your hours of time by offering your services in some fashion. In return you can take out the same amount of time while taking advantages of services provided by other people.
Can you imagine how this type of project could work in your community? Perhaps you could do garden work for an older citizen and then withdraw time out to learn a new skill. Have you tried similar concepts of informal time banking such as a babysitting pool? Has your organization set up its own system of time credits, based on the original time banking idea?
If you are interested in the concept of time banking, check out the Lower Mainland Time Banking website or their overview video. Have you tried time banking? What has your experience been like for you?
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Fixing the Future on Twitter
Core Values, The Guardian, regarding Edgar Cahn
For a local BC organization focussed on building capacity in community, check out the work of the Vancouver Foundation via Twitter.
Image Source: TimeBanks.Org
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