Thursday, July 14, 2011

TimeBank Idaho - Potluck

I wrote previously here about my interest in TimeBank Idaho. Tonight my husband and I went to our first potluck to meet other members of the group. I am even more intrigued than before.

I was impressed by the interesting mix of people that came together to share ideas. There was an attorney, a psychologist, a massage therapist, a reiki master, a "grunt laborer", and others who I did not get a chance to talk with much. But it was clear that people came from all sorts of back grounds, living all walks of life. I like that.

One of my all time favorite pieces of writing is the essay People Like Us by David Brooks from the September 2003 Atlantic Monthly. In it Brooks points out that while Americans talk a good bit about valuing diversity, when it comes right down to it most people tend to associate with others very much like themselves. In neighborhoods, work places, houses of worship, bars, all sorts of settings... from the playground to the board room there is a tendency for people to sort themselves to be with others like themselves.

I think there is tremendous value in knowing and associating with people who look, act and think differently than I do. My friends across the spectrum of life experience enrich my understanding of the world in immeasurable ways.

Because I am active in the LDS church I actually have lots of opportunities for giving and receiving, for connecting, for doing a lot of the things that TimeBank seems set up to support. But the thing is, as much as I love my LDS neighbors, I LIKE knowing people who don't fit that mold. I want access to the kinds of conversations I will have by meeting people of different faiths (or no faith at all). I like having contacts with people who live in a different section of town and therefore can give me tips on resources in an area my own immediate neighbors may be less familiar with. I very much enjoy the chance to contribute to a group that supports the idea of sincerely valuing ALL people as having something worthy to offer.

So I will definitely be looking to do more with TimeBank Idaho. Last night was my first potluck with the group. It most certainly will not be my last.

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