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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.