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Reflection by Edgar Cahn

West Seattle TimeBank. This looks simply like a nice story – children playing, parents attending, everyone happy. But it is really pretty profound in what it says timebanking can do. This timebank does more than generate transactions. It is creating the functional equivalent of extended family.  

The ability for a medium of exchange to function as the analog of biological kinship is not just nice or trivial.  It is really revolutionary.  To create a different kind of family circumvents and even defies how in the world of commerce we otherwise define worth and determine worthiness.  Family as identity extends across generations.  Family creates a presumption of trust.  It establishes a kind of indelible nexus that somehow persists even despite differences and disruptions.  The outcome is more than the sum of its parts, more than just the number of transactions.  We are a species that needs families to discharge functions necessary to survive, to prosper, to contribute, to create, and to preserve.  Creating a new kind of family ultimately may incubate a growing awareness of what it means to be a member of the human family.