Feb 29th! 2012 is a leap year and this is the leap day. Personally, I wish we had tagged an extra day onto a month that wasn’t quite so dreary, but no one asked me. So, February gets an extra day. Which is nice because the rest of the time it really does get the short end of the stick.
I wanted to share something today that I heard just this morning as I walked into work. I passed a group of folks talking about leap year and as I went by one of them made the comment that they were all working for free today. It took me a moment to catch what she was saying, but I realized that technically speaking it was true. If you are a salaried employee, then you are donating your time to the company today. You get paid the same this year as you did last year, and yet you will have worked an extra day – for free.
Now, before you get too upset, my intent is not to stir the proverbial pot. Employers, please forgive me if I inadvertently became the catalyst for a small uprising in your office. My point with this is to make us all stop for a moment and think about what we could do with an extra day.
Many of us decry how we never seem to have “enough” time. There seems to always be more that needs done than there is time to do it. But what if we were given an extra day? A “free day” as my daughter called it. “It cost us nothing, and we got a whole extra day!” was how she described it to me this morning over breakfast.
I must admit that this was a completely different way of looking at the day than I personally had been doing. But there it is. We have been given an extra day. What are you going to do with it? This is an incredibly valuable resource that only comes around every four years. I think it deserves some thought and intentionality. What are you going to do to make the world a better place with the extra day you have been granted in 2012?
I asked some of my friends this question, and I was surprised with some of the answers. After getting a lot of “I don’t know” responses, I had one friend tell me that she was going to declare this to be EXTRA day – and give everyone extra. But only the good things: extra hugs, extra games, extra ice cream, extra Wii time. (I am sure her children were especially thrilled with the ice cream and Wii time.) Another friend become more contemplative and said, “If I am working for free this day anyway, than I am going to take it a step further and donate one day’s salary to my favorite charity.”
You can be sure that his comment stood out to me, but I am not here to be pushy…
I am asking this question of you too, and honestly I would love to know if you have ever thought of LEAP YEAR in these terms before. And if you do take a moment and think about it as an extra day, then what specifically are you going to do to take advantage of this amazing gift?
Let me know! Talk with your friends, coworkers and family, and tell me what their answers are too.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Eric Frans, CFRE
Director of Philathropy