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Reflection by Edgar Cahn

There are two worlds: the world where value is determined by money and the world where that is not true, where we pay homage to other values, other traditions. How else does one explain an economics that supports museums, arts, theatre, culture, religion, environmental and historic preservation?

Both worlds need money but the need for money cannot be allowed to debase or obliterate the sub-molecular nucleus of value that both undergirds and transcends market price. Money motivates people in both worlds – commercial and non-commercial – but does that mean that the world of non-money is simply a subordinate but rival business domain?

The entire non-profit world constantly wrestles with what it means to try to survive in that other world, the world that rejects reduction to market price, yet requires money to survive, to thrive, to grow.

When TimeBankers serve clam chowder, hot chocolate, and goodies in this historical museum, the act is symbolic of the larger infusion of energy that TimeBanking can bring into the world where value is not defined by price. That world needs continual renewal. There is a domain – physical, aesthetic, normative, some would say spiritual – that thrives and survives on exchanges of time. But at its heart, the exchange is not about purchasing power; it is about a celebration of meaning that transcends market price.