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"As a newcomer to Montpelier, Onion River Exchange was a great way to become involved in local activities and meet new people, and I picked up new skills that were completely unfamiliar to me before joining. I attended woodcarving classes through ORE for six months, I learned how to double-knit while knitting mittens in an exchange, and I received a loaf of delicious, homemade sourdough bread each week. I saw an herbalist at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, and I helped a friend dust and polish her furniture once a month. I’m always looking to support my local community in any way possible, and to me, ORE seemed like a clear way to do so. By fostering local connections, and escaping the capitalistic, materialistic mindset that so often places value in money above all else, ORE strengthens and builds our community each day. The idea that an hour of my work is worth an hour of your work- that no one person's time is more valuable than any other person's time- continues to shape the way I live my life to this day. I left Montpelier in June of 2014, and ORE is one of the parts of my Montpelier life I miss most of all. And since then, I've been working to replicate those connections, exchanges, and basic values in every community I've been a part of." - Part 2 of 2 from Anna Tracht @ Onion River Exchange (ORE), Vermont . #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days #timebanks #story #timeasmoney #value

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Reflection by Edgar Cahn

Timebanking rejects any assumption that work is limited to the exercise of marketable skills. It honors efforts that contribute to the reduction of social and ecological pathologies. Externalities generated by the market transactions can impair a life-sustaining ecosystem. What is the market value of reducing isolation, of creating a peer group that values one, of celebrating a trivial act of caring, or fidelity or empathy? Actions characterized as deviant can affirm what it means to be alive, to be conscious, to know that one has a mind with the awesome capacity to look at itself.

Minutiae become cosmic – because we are all at bottom, just a collection of molecules, brought together in ways we don’t comprehend, gifted with functional capacities to control matter, awaiting to interpret whatever feedback we get. Because that means that what one does matters, that we can make a difference in the life of someone else and by doing so, we spread radiating pools of meaning outward.

A story lives in the recounting, creating its own frame as a lens through which all of life’s moments can be viewed, magnified, interpreted and affirmed.