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What Difference Could One Hour Make?

In the musical Rent, we hear this calculation of the exact number of minutes in a given year:

"Five hundred and twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes."

When a year is broken down into its requisite minutes (60X24X365), it is a staggering number. How many of those minutes are used annually for just sleep? How many minutes of "screen-time" (television, internet, Smartphones)? Probably the nearest we get to tracking our time is by number of hours, i.e. working hours, weekend events, etc.

I know it takes about 17 minutes a week for just the routine of mowing our postage stamp sized urban lot.

That still leaves a lot of time available to make a difference. Perhaps an outcome of perpetually busy and constant seeking to be occupied through entertainment, if we really just tracked our usage of time for one week, we would be surprised how little of it is really spent on things or with people. Our binge-watching an entire series on Netflix (TM) is not really going to be that life-altering in 5 days, let alone 5 years.

But we often over estimate what can be accomplished in a year (i.e. weight loss) and underestimate the impact available in small, consistent behaviors or practices over five or even ten years.

What would happen if you set aside just one hour a week toward neighborhood impact and improvement?

I already said a home occupied lot in Clokey Park can be mowed in just 17 minutes. That already leaves 43 minutes.

Just one hour in removing those unsightly saplings along an unkempt fence.

Just one hour of picking up trash and litter along the curbs of your own block (or green space if you live along Prairie or Main).

Just one hour of attending our monthly neighborhood meeting (it's September 20, 6:30 pm).

Just one hour of talking and listening to your block neighbors.

If even a small group of neighbors just committed to 4 hours a month, a hour a week, I'm sure some nuisances and blight would vanish.

We have plenty of time. We just do not do well in prioritizing community-building in it.

Start small. Just one hour this week. Address the things you see, speak to the neighbors you don't know very well, engage in our association efforts.

See what a difference one hour can make.

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