Day 562 and Expensive Hobbies

My mother has a theory that the nicest people on earth have expensive hobbies. This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily rich, in fact quite the opposite. Nor does she mean that it’s expensive from strictly financial perspective. She means that resource intensive hobbies, ones that take significant investments of time, energy and social capital, make for kind communities.

The more “expensive” it is commit to a hobby, the more likely you will meet folks who will be welcoming if you approach them humbly. People that put a large investment into a hobby are often allocating a significant chunk of their limited disposal income into the thing they love. It signals a commitment that is easily understood by others within the group.

She originally developed this thesis via exposure to boat people. Her family has a number of blue collar folks who live on the water. But she further developed it with exposure in the mountain west to horse people and others who ranch or breed livestock. Horse people are particularly welcoming folk.

There are endless varieties of hobbies in this category but in particular anything that has a challenging and steep learning curve lends itself to the “nice folks” theory. If it took you significant resources to become adept, you will remember your early days of struggle in the hobby. That memory turns out to be crucial. You will want to help others because you will recognize their struggle from your own past.

This desire to help others isn’t universal. You will look for those that want to help themselves. But if you see someone struggling mightily, and humbly, in an “expensive hobby” that you share it’s human nature to pitch in. God helps those that help themselves. And so do other humans. And in place is it more obvious that you want and need the help than when just starting out on a challenging endeavor.