Bliss, Contentment, Delight—No Matter the Synonym, It’s Tied to Timebanking

By Grace Maselli


The happiness factor. Immediately below the surface of the timebanking philosophy is where the happiness factor lives. Briefly, the philosophy is underpinned by a belief that “wealth” is intrinsic to the economy’s people who have innate worth and dignity. The basic piece of the happiness factor is that giving to othersthrough interaction and proximity, having  ties and tethers and face-time in the dimensional (non-virtual screen-focused) world with other human beings, contributes to their peace of mind and optimism and other people’s, givers’, own well-being.

The timebank philosophy expands this notion of unconventional wealth by assigning value to everything we do as humanoids: provide emotional support, caregive, check in on our neighbors. Happiness can be derived through the timebank’s system of services exchange that goes beyond cash-ola, and which might include hours earned for giving someone who needs it a ride to a doctor’s appointment. Or bringing a person chicken soup. Let your skill set and imagination be the guide, the philosophy elicits!

YES! magazine provides data points. “One person’s happiness triggers a three-degree chain reaction that benefits not only their friends, but their neighbors’ friends and their friends’ neighbors’ friends.” The article goes on to given percentages of happiness increases by categories linked to interaction and proximity as it relates to happy people:

Being near one happy person increases happiness for:


Spouse Sibling living
within a mile

Friend living
within a mile


8% 14%


In other words, prosperity in the land of timebanking is directly correlated with support for each other. Being seen and heard and helped builds our reservoir of collective good and puts a smile on the doer’s and the receiver’s face. Yippee! According to YES! magazine, it’s official, “Giving to others increases our own happiness.” And it has an exponentially positive effect…