A few weeks back while gallivanting about on Twitter I spied a “tweetversation” between Matt Kalil, the Minnesota Vikings first round draft pick of 2012, and a fan. She asked Matt where she could pick-up a Vikings costume for the upcoming season. Well being the guy that I am, I tweeted a photo of my six year-old self in a Viking outfit and asked, “Is this the Viking outfit you were referring to? If so, I might still have it.” This proved to be an exciting move because Matt Kalil, the number four pick in the 2012 NFL draft, retweeted my message. It was super cool. I was Twitter famous for approximately 15 seconds.
Stars Were My Currency
However the real story of my Viking costume began the day my mother assigned me chores. You see, the costume was a direct result of my decision to help around the house. I would make my bed, tidy my room, feed Boogie (my beloved mutt that my dad originally referred to as Booger) and do whatever my mom needed. In return she would award me a gold star sticker which I would place on my chore chart. After so many stars my mother would give me cash so I could buy the things I wanted. It was my first lesson in simple economics.
It’s Not a Reward. It’s a Decision.
If stars were my currency, then decisions were my reward. My mom was teaching me something much more than the value of a dollar. She was teaching me how to make decisions based on the value I placed on them. You follow me? Whether I wanted the Han Solo Planet Hoth action figure or a cap gun complete with holster, I had to determine which was more valuable to me based on the change in my pocket and the fun it would bring. It’s some sort of math problem for life, and probably why I was an economics teacher’s assistant in college.
Fancy Tickling Values
So in true Billy fashion here is where I take the story and relate it to the world of energy. You see, as a copywriter I am often tasked with educating the public about energy efficiency. I often write consumer education pieces and quite frankly, since working in the industry, I’ve followed the majority of what I often share. The value of energy efficiency for me is two fold; I spend less (rarely do I save more, because I always find a way to spend it) and I make a positive impact on my community and environment. These values tickle my fancy for different reasons. When I spend less money on my energy bill (or any utility where conservation is an option), I can buy a new pair of kicks or surprise my beautiful fiancé (brownie points) with concert tickets to see Alabama Shakes, for example. And every time I turn off a light when I leave the room, unplug my computer when it’s fully charged, run my dishwasher at night, use cold water when doing laundry and a plethora of other energy saving stuff, I make a decision to help reduce my impact on the world around me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do everything I possibly can. But I can tell you that the little things do add up. And for what it’s worth that motivates me. So much so, I just may take the money I save over the next few months, purchase an adult sized Viking suit and parade around the neighborhood shouting, “This land is our land. Be energy efficient or leave.” On second thought I better rethink that idea. The visual is, well, absurd.