Monday, January 5, 2009

An extra twist of Inspiration

I stopped blogging for two months, not because I was particularly busy or ran out of things to write about. Rather, I became extremely disillusioned about why I bother blogging. While perhaps my finances and my knowledge provide some voyeuristic pleasure and maybe some money-making investment advice, the blog itself stopped having purpose to me.

Why am I writing it? I don't think I ever knew to begin with, and I probably won't ever fully figure it out. But today, listening to a podcast of Democracy Now's December 22, 2008 show about how a Utah college student, Tim DeChristopher, successfully, peacefully, and on his own disrupted the government auction of 150,000 acres of wilderness by posing as a bidder made me realize that very simple acts, that I could be performing, could make huge differences.

Tim, an economics student, saw an opportunity to disrupt the auction while standing outside pondering the effectiveness of protesters pounding the pavement, even though the real decision makers were inside. He took the initiative, passed himself off as a potential bidder, and then began to bid on land. Early on, he only tried to raise the prices of land, but later, as he grew more confident, he began to acquire them for himself.

Tim didn't have the money to actually buy the land. The auction didn't even finish. He was arrested by federal agents when auction organizers realized he wasn't a real bidder. But it didn't matter. The auction was over.

I want to start blogging about these stories. I may not have the opportunities, or the courage, or perhaps the means to be the story, but at the very least, I can start talking about them.

I quote Tim from his interview:

For all the problems that people can talk about in this country and for all the apathy and, you know, the eight years of oppression and the decades of eroding civil liberties, America is still very much the kind of place that when you stand up for what is right, you never stand alone.
Yes, I know this is extremely idealistic and perhaps a romanticism of civil disobedience. But this is certainly a stark contrast to my daily, very realistic and cold job performing financial analysis.

This is what I want to try for the rest of the year. Finance + Inspiration. Something for others and a purpose for me.

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