In His Own Voice, an Interview with Timebank Founder, Edgar Cahn

By Grace Maselli

Edgar Cahn, founder of timebanking, and a legal scholar and law professor, discusses “a new kind of money,” in reference to his founding philosophy. With compassion and inclusion for all members of society, he remarks on the invaluable “economy” of families, neighborhoods, communities, and civil society: The machinery, if you will, responsible for raising children, caring for the elderly, keeping democracy running, and the planet sustainable. Just a few minor things to consider “that are beyond price,” in reference to timebanking’s core principles… Take a listen and review the thinking behind development of self-worth and the value of timebank exchanges as seen through the lens of building connection with folks in nearby locales.

“Timebanking addresses the fundamental disparities that should not be tolerated and that we do not need to accept,” Edgar offers in reference to unequal distribution of wealth in our currency-based culture, among other truths as he describes them. Check out timebanking’s five core values, too. And pass along the good vibes! Invite a friend or neighbor to learn about TBT.

The Five Core Values of TimeBanking

We are all assets. We all have something to give.
Redefining Work
Some work is beyond price. Work has to be redefined. To create “the village” that raises healthy children, builds strong families, revitalizes neighborhoods, makes democracy work, advances social justice, and even makes the planet sustainable is valuable work. It needs to be honored, recorded, and rewarded.
Helping works better as a two-way street. The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “How can we help each other build the world we all will live in?”
Social Networks
We need each other. People joined in shared purpose are stronger than individuals. Helping each other, we reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built upon sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. Special relationships
are built on commitment.

Every human being matters. Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. We must respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.