This Friday is a leap day–an event that happens only every four to eight years. That means the month of February is one day longer than it usually is. This is due to the fact that the actual length of time it takes for the Earth to circle to sun is actually approximately 365.242 days. The modern algorithm to calculate leap years was developed in the 16th century by St. Gregory in order to keep the vernal equinox as close to March 21st as possible.

What exactly does this mean for people like you and me? Well, it means that Friday, not Thursday, is the last day of February. That means you have been given one extra day in the month to Leap into Action!

Leap into Action Day was created in 2004 by a group of Radical Anarchists in the San Francisco Bay Area in order to encourage people to reclaim their extra day and do something different. In encouraging people to do something different, they hope a cultural change would occur. They hope people would find that they liked working for change and justice.

I would like to encourage you to do something different and thoughtful on February 29th, 2008. There are loads of different things you could do on Leap Day. Why don’t you do something to better yourself or your community? Spend your day working for social justice! Spend your day volunteering with local aid organizations. Help your local community by working with a homeless shelter or feeding the hungry. Tutor at an after school program. Or pick up litter in your neighborhood. You could register to be a poll worker.

You could also learn a new skill. Three years ago, I learned how to knit. Now I like to trade scarves and hats for personal favors, like haircuts or books or things like that. I think I might learn how to crochet on my leap day. But you could also build a project out of wood. Or dust off your old sewing machine and make someone in your life a tote bag.

You could also start a garden. Vegetable patches and window boxes are a great way to add freshness to your surroundings and food. If you already garden, think about composting. Composting keeps tons of waste out of landfills and goes back into your garden for an inexpensive boost to your vegetables and flowers. Or you could start a worm farm in your basement.

You could also go for a hike in your local national park. You could visit a museum in town. You bike a new bike trail or take your dog for a walk a different way than usual. You could try a new recipe from a cook book you haven’t opened in years or use an ingredient you have never used before. You could write a letter to a friend. You could call a family member out of the blue. You could make a collage out of old newspapers and magazines. You could clean out your closet and donate old things to Goodwill. You could go to the library and check out a stack of children’s books. The options are endless.

But whatever you do, don’t waste your extra day! Do something different! Do something new! Do something daring and exciting. Leap into action on your leap day!

About the Author
Alex Winnett

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