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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Help your Grandma, help the economy”

    It’s been an eventful year. From the historical election naming President-elect Barack Obama to the American throne to the most extreme and horrific economic crisis since the Great Depression, it’s been nothing short of remarkable.

    As the year winds down and the holidays fast approaching, the current economic crisis seems to set a considerable damper on most people’s brewing holiday cheer. But to keep with the holiday spirit, a fresh perspective on the subject seems appropriate.

    Nowadays, when anyone says or makes a reference to the word “”economic”” the vast majority of people think “”money.”” But the truth is that the definition of the word “”economic”” is more about “”wealth”” than it is about “”money.””

    There’s much more that people can give than just currency. The idea of a minor depression doesn’t necessarily mean you need to whip out your checkbooks in order to make a difference. In a crisis such as this one, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t take having a six-figure salary to be able to help. There are many other things people can do that are just as lucrative as a stack of green paper.

    In keeping with the holiday spirit, Thanksgiving is symbolic of a time when we should be most thankful for everything we have and are able to do. Now, don’t worry. I’m not going to call upon everyone to pull out a pen and write down a “”things that I’m grateful for”” list, but the idea of Thanksgiving should at least spark a list in your mind.

    Likewise, it an appropriate time to give back to what gives us so much to be thankful for – our country. Along the same lines, the holiday season is also referred to as “”the time of giving,”” so why not make it just that? That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to devote every waking hour of our free time to charity work, but it does mean there is some “”give and take”” involved ð- and not always of money. When people give things that aren’t of direct monetary value, these situations are often even more valuable.

    Probably one of the clearest examples of this is the idea of time. On any given day, most people waste time doing frivolous things that, in the broad spectrum of life, don’t really matter. For example, if each and every person in your immediate circle of friends – let’s say there’s eight of you – gave an hour to help someone who needed it, then this would translate into a day’s worth of work. In this sense, you would have just provided eight hours’ worth of help that someone might have otherwise had to pay for.

    Now let’s say you helped an elderly woman. If that little old lady takes her savings and goes to buy Christmas presents for the local children’s shelter with it, two things occur. First, you can feel great about yourself because you just made a few kids’ Christmases better. Second, you just indirectly helped to stimulate the economy. In essence, it’s a ripple effect. By taking time out of your day, which might have otherwise been spent raiding a fridge out of boredom, you helped the economy and you never even had to give away a dollar. Better still, you didn’t eat that extra snack from the fridge, which means that you’re losing weight and saving money!

    So have fun over Thanksgiving break. Eat a lot of good food, watch some football and relax. It’s going to be a much needed four-day weekend. But try to remember the significance of the holiday between your mouthfuls of stuffing and, if you can, give something, help someone and embark on your own “”bailout plan.”” Help the elderly, give good advice, pick up some trash, take a shorter shower – there’s are many things you can do. The government just gave $700 million; can you think of 700 ways to give back?


    – Isaac Mohr is a journalism freshman. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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