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Small investment in others reaps large rewards

What makes you so excited that you want to get up and do something? While that’s a matter of individual choice, let’s look at just two examples.

Millions of people get excited about sports: They wear team jerseys, go to games, watch their teams on TV, bet on the outcome of games, have pre- and postgame parties and spend money on sports “stuff.” They’re excited and ecstatic and enjoy the action, but what’s left after the game?

Millions of people get excited about going out to a restaurant and then on to a few hours or more of socializing with friends and possibly imbibing their favorite beverages. This is entertaining and satisfying, but what’s left after the merriment?

It’s excellent to enjoy sports and contribute to the economy. The website Statista reported that in 2015, $12 billion was spent on the National Football League, $8.4 billion on Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League generated around $6 and $4 billion, respectively that year.

When it comes to restaurants, Restaurant Business reported that its top 100 independent restaurants across the country had total food and beverage revenues of roughly $1.8 billion in 2015.

All this spending is good for the economy. It’s a small part of what keeps the country moving. Humans need excitement and relaxation and socialization but to what degree and at what cost?

If everyone who spent time and money on these activities applied 5 or 10 percent of the total on other undertakings, what could that investment look like?

Perhaps folks would spend that time reading to their kids or even the neighbor’s little one. Maybe an hour or two could be used volunteering at Lend A Hand of Boulder City to take someone to the doctor or dentist, or delivering Meals on Wheels once a week for the Senior Center of Boulder City or even mentoring the boy next door whose dad passed away.

There might be an occasion to help a teacher at one of the schools or help a neighbor who can’t get up on that ladder anymore or send a meal to a neighbor who just had surgery. Consider spending an hour or two registering voters or working on a social issue in which you believe strongly. Heck, folks might even consider attending a City Council meeting, or volunteering for a city committee/commission, or sending an email to the council members or giving them a call.

If none of these investments of time are appealing, consider using that new-found time to take a walk, or go swimming, or embark on a hike or a bike ride. There’s always visiting the library, or the Boulder City-Hoover Dam Museum, or the Boulder City Art Guild, or watching the ducks at Veterans’ Memorial Park, or visiting Hemenway Valley Park and getting a view of the sheep or simply sitting and enjoying the scenery from Wilbur Square or Sundial Park.

When it comes to the money saved by shaving a small percentage from the sports and restaurant expenditures, saving that money might appeal to some. Then there is always donating to your favorite charity or even starting an altruistic project of your own. There may be neighbors or friends interested in the same idea and everyone can pool their resources.

Think about starting a scholarship fund or buying school supplies. Maybe Pantry 34 at the Christian Center Church, or Emergency Aid of Boulder City or the food pantry at the senior center could benefit from a donation.

There is really no end to what we can do with some of the energy, time and money diverted from things that make us excited and sharing it with others. Many folks already do this and enrich themselves and others in countless ways, but what about those who have no time for others, even their own family? Do they keep their excitement locked up inside? Is exuberance something to hide? Wouldn’t it be outstanding to take a fraction of our excitement and energy and a few dollars and pass that around?

Who knows? Maybe we’d see a lot more cheerful, excited people and fewer jerseys. Priceless.

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