Monday, February 4, 2013

Big Idea Monday- Time Bank

Time is money.
-Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin once told a young tradesman “Time is money”. You may have heard the phrase, but did you know there is an entire alternative international monetary system based on this principal? It is called Time Banking and the currency is volunteer hours. The concept started in the eighties when the economy tanked and social services were cut. It was a way to provide incentives for people to be neighborly and freely share their time and talent. The idea is: mentoring children and delivering food to the elderly have real value in society and that can’t always be measured by a price tag. Today, there are time banks in 26 countries, including 250 branches in the United States alone. I just applied to join one in Tampa Bay.

Here is an example of how it works: You are bi-lingual. You can teach others Spanish. For every hour of instruction you provide to other bank members, you get an hour of “credit” in your time bank account. Your student may have earned “time dollars”  for your class by reading to the blind."A Benjamin Franklin" bill in the Time Bank equals 100 hours of pro-bono work. It is not bartering or trading. It is mostly policed on the honor system, although there is a screening process to join a bank.

Wherever your bank branch is located, the core principals are the same: everyone is an asset, some work is beyond monetary price, reciprocity is helping, all people deserve respect and social networks are necessary.  To find a Time Bank near you visit: Time Banks

For this Big Idea Monday, my idea is a "journal in a jar" and it is a hybrid of other ideas. There are several Pinterest posts that show people writing down their blessings for a gratitude jar or precious moments with their kids. Part of my idea for this blog is to learn from my children. They teach me so much that I don’t always remember when I am blogging and if I don’t write it down, I forget. So- my idea is to fill my mason jar with lessons from my children. 

What is your big idea?

For today’s “Sky’s The Limit” on what you can learn: Benjamin Franklin’s face memorialized on $100 bills may have less to do with his diplomacy or famous inventions, and more to do with his economic theories. His ideas about taxation, property ownership and interest rates shaped how we exchange money. In an essay titled A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency, Franklin made the case for paper currency and than printed it long before there was a Treasury or U.S. mint.

He also believed that “trade in general being nothing else but the exchange of labor for labor, the value of all things is, as I said before, most justly measured in labor.”

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