We are a capitalist society. There´s no getting around that. What is… is. We’ve been exceedingly good at celebrating our market capital, expanding our military capital, and using up our resource capital, but we find ourselves now with the urge to give more value to our social capital.

Social capital is about giving and receiving. It´s about being part of something bigger than yourself. Social capital is the development of personal worth through fully being the person that you are and integrating that into your community in ways that bring the greatest benefit to all involved. Social capital is about cultivating the habits that move us from independence to interdependence.

If we´re going truly capitalize on all of the resources that are at our disposal, then we need to provide currencies that enable all that we are to flow as powerfully as possible as possible. To open up the flow of our social capital, we must move into the realm of time banking.

This is not a a move to communism or socialism or any such thing. It is merely the recognition that we are all connected, we are all one big human family, and though our attention is often drawn away from that toward discrepancies and assumptions that take us away from the happiness that is our birthright, we simply must recognize that the most powerful economic system in the world is one that is based in the power of love. And as Khalil Gibran said, ¨Work is love made visible.¨

The Common Wealth Time Bank wants to build on the foundation of that source of wealth. Love is limitless, astoundingly abundant, and has the capacity to create a currency that cannot be hoarded as a commodity, but multiplies as it is shared. The Common Wealth Time Bank seeks to cultivate our members´ love for themselves so that it can expand through the rest of the community. By helping our members to recognize their hidden talents and capitalize on strengths such as compassion and empathy, we are able to expand the abundance of the whole.

As Edgar Cahn writes in Time Dollars, “The power of the Time Dollar idea stems from four basic truths. The first is that the real wealth of our nation is not money; it is the time of the people and the willingness of people to use that time helping others. The second truth is that the United States has two economies, the market economy, which economists all analyze, and the household economy of family, neighborhood, and community. The third basic truth underlying Time Dollars is that people respond to rewards other than money. The fourth and final truth is that money does not buy complete substitutes for what the family, the neighborhood, and community used to provide.”

Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at The Unbroken Path and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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