View this post on Instagram
"Cindy, a resident of Watertown, Massachusetts, wanted to go to the beach but public transportation wouldn't take her to the beaches she wanted to visit. She advertised within the Boston-area Time Trade Circle for a beach companion to go to the beach with her, hang out and bring her back home. The member of the timebank who responded was a woman who had been a member for quite a while, but hadn't made a transaction in quite some time. Cindy's post piqued her interest. So much so that, not only did they go the first time, they went a second time as well. They were both able to spend some wonderful afternoons at the beach together as a result. Through the time they spent together, they found out that they had similar careers and shared friends in common. This connection and opportunity were both made possible through their local timebank. Acccording to Cindy, "The possibilities of a timebank are only limited by a timebank member's creativity. This was an uncommon request that I made, but it was a post that another timebank member appreciated." - Time Trade Circle, Massachusetts http://timetradecircle.org/ #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days #timebanks #story #timeasmoney #beach
Reflection by Edgar Cahn
Public systems like transportation are wonderful – except when they aren’t. They meet needs that individuals could not address on their own: public safety, universal education, crime control, environmental protection, historic preservation.
Systems are systems. And people are people. Sometimes they overlap and converge. Sometimes they don’t. Timebanking creates an arena where they can choose to overlap.
There is a value in just “being” who you are that systems do not create, cannot define or control, and may not necessarily satisfy what one wants. In this case, just “being” meant Cindy had a quirky desire to go to the beach. One does not have to justify “being” who one is. The freedom “to be” is at the heart of those so-called inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Exercising those rights may need protection. But “to be” means that one matters, that one’s existence makes a difference.
We are not simply isolated atoms or molecules floating in space. How does one convey the significance of an interaction that redefines one as no-longer a stranger? Cindy is no longer an anonymous stranger. Going to the beach may seem trivial. It is not. Having the ability to create a possibility that enables a stranger to come forward and say: “I’ll take you” represents power. Timebanking awakens that invisible power. It creates that special safe space that invests “just being” with the magic power of changing what one wants into what can be.