By Grace Maselli
Investopedia is a New York City-based website that zeroes in on investing, finance education, and analysis. The website was founded about 23 years ago by IAC, a company with the most recently available 2016 revenues listed as $3.14 billion and 5,800 employees. Site administrators have included timebanking in their lexicon, defining it thusly: “[It] is a reciprocity-based work trading system in which hours are the currency. It is a form of community currency, which enables a person with one skill set to trade hours of work with someone with another skill set, without any money changing hands.”
Investopedia takes a closer look at the mechanics of the Edgar Cahn-created timebanking model: “Time banking has spread to communities around the world, because it helps to foster community ties and attracts people who would not normally get involved in traditional volunteering.The services traded focus on community outreach, such as the care of the elderly, social work and home repair, and it enables people on low incomes to access services that would be unaffordable to them in the traditional market economy.”
The Investopedia look-see into timebanking likewise includes its five key principles:
- We Are All Assets: Everyone has something to contribute
- Redefining Work: Rewards all work, including non-paid and care work
- Reciprocity: Helping each other builds strong relationships, and community trust
- Social Networks: Belonging to a social network gives our lives more meaning
- Respect: Respect is the basis for healthy and loving community, and lies at the heart of democracy
The review of key principles inspires a deeper dive. Thanks to timebanking and its emphasis on belonging, here are some questions to consider as we cross the threshold into the holiday season and move toward the conclusion of 2018.
• What’s the most meaningful thing that happened to you so far this year?
• What inspired you?
• What gave you a sense of strength?
• Are you using your strengths, applying them in your daily life?
• Have you found your tribe?
• Do you feel understood and valued by the people you surround yourself with?
• Do you tell yourself positive or negative “stories” about who you are as a person in the world?
• Do you take account of the ordinary, wonderful moments in everyday life?
Check out the VIA Institute on Character’s free “Character Strengths Study” to explore your areas of strength. You might find some happy surprises there!