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Reflection by Edgar Cahn

TimeBanking starts with 1 + 1. There is a giver and a receiver.  But when you add a third person, something else happens. And when that third person helps one of the original two, a cycle begins that has a life of its own. It is as if a living cell was created that has the power to sustain itself and to link to others.

TimeBanking is not just doing something nice for another. The story exemplifies the proverb: “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Embedded in each TimeBank exchange is the premise: you, the recipient, have an equal capacity to make a difference in the lives of others.

We know in math, a triad is different. When one adds a third person, it can operate exponentially: it is 1+1 squared. The instant one adds a third person, different possibilities emerge. When a man and a woman beget a child, everything changes. Three is different, very different. That is not just a proposition about math. That is a proposition about the creation of life and the possibility of community.