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When Kenny arrived in Kent, Ohio to begin his immersion into the world of timebanking at the beginning of the year, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. He had watched videos and read articles, but hadn't even begun to understand the connections and relationships developed through the practice of exchanging time with one another. For his first timebanking exchange, Kenny was tasked with driving Diane home from her job at a local Steak & Shake. He met her at her work, nervous and uncertain about how giving a complete stranger a ride home would go. He got there a bit early to grab a bite to eat and, lo-and-behold, Diane was his server. Over the next hour, they started to get to know each other in passing conversation and, by the time that left to bring Diane home, they had already become friends. It only took Kenny 20 minutes to drive Diane home, but they spent an additional half hour in the car outside her apartment building sharing personal stories, learning about Diane's experiences with timebanking and exploring the possibilities of timebanking in Kent and beyond. - Kent Community TimeBank, Ohio https://crookedriver.timebanks.org/ #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days #timebanks #storytelling #timeasmoney #driving #friendship
Reflection by Edgar Cahn
Boy meets girl – this is how, when, and where the idea of collecting TimeBank stories was born. With TimeBanking an interview becomes a relationship and a relationship becomes a shared journey of exploration.
It takes place in a kitchen of a local Steak and Shake shop. One sees franchised eateries along highways – the opposite of community. The opposite of an urban hub. The veins and arteries of commerce woven into the broad landscape of America. Powered by the purchasing power of travelers – a byproduct of the automobile industry and the vast highway system that connects suburbs and cities.
Yet, across this vast expanse, we learn that TimeBanking can still create its own ecosystem of connectivity and friendship and bondedness. Putnam has observed the decline of social capital in his book, “Bowling Alone”. Highways plus TimeBanks translate into Bowling together. Strangers become neighbors who may live miles from each other but function like an extended family. We see here the birth of a new ecosystem, woven out of stories and trust and pride in knowing that one is more than one’s job. One is what one chooses to be when one helps another and sets in motion, ripples and wavelets of friendship and reliance and availability.