In service of the federal government and the alkaline battery lobby, millions will pay homage to the bi-annual tradition of changing clocks and smoke alarm batteries 2am Sunday morning. The reward is one ubiquitous yet elusive hour of time and a certainty that if your place catches fire, you’ll be more terrified by the smoke alarm than the flames.
This biannual tradition at the end of a Saturday night alternates a cumulative theft or gift of one hour per person or a couple hundred million aggregate American hours, give or take—and very literally so. All tallied, it’s the equivalent of an astounding 23,000 years (minus batteries) taken from Americans each spring and returned to them each fall! Depending on your take, 23,000 years is either a mind-blowing number or an incredible opportunity.
What changes could an entire nation make if we had 23,000 years in which to do it…virtually overnight?
If each of us used our one hour at some point this season for a needy cause, to make dinner for a shut-in neighbor, volunteer for a charity or otherwise advocate for a deserving cause of humanity, might we see a difference? What if we all donated just one hour of our wages? Overnight, the problems of poverty, homelessness, hunger, and most of our nation’s ills would vanish.
On Saturday night, before you wander to bed or when you arrive home from a shortened night out, change your clocks and batteries, and vow to spend your 60 minute change somewhere you see fit. Change something for someone else. Changing your clock or a 9V battery isn’t really that hard. God knows it’s a lot less rewarding option than what could be done with 23,000 years overnight.
The power of an hour.
What’s yours worth?