most anyone who would take the time to read this will know that i’m politically conservative. sometimes mainstream conservative ideas don’t jive with what i believe as a Christian, and sometimes they do. i lean towards the conservative side because i believe God called us to work hard and do the best we can for our family. i know things get in the way, and i would never forsake someone in that position.
ideas inspire me when they are born of necessity or when they reflect a person’s desire to do what’s right.
Tom’s shoes inspires me. this guy, Tom, makes some simple shoes and sells them. they are a cult classic and all the cool folks (like Derek) wear them with pride. Tom has quite a racket and could make a ton of money. i think Tom probably does make a ton of money, but it’s what he chooses to do with that money that inspires me – he gives back. if you buy a pair of Tom’s shoes then he gives a pair to a needy kid somewhere in the world. simple, honest, genuine, functional. i love it.
i’m trying to find more companies like Tom’s to whom I can give my business. i’d rather spend my money somewhere that’s focused on the greater good.
another inspiring idea is microfinance/microbanking/microlending.
plenty of us give money to charities. plenty of people a whole lot more rabidly conservative than me give money to charities. don’t get me wrong – i believe in charity – but sometimes i wonder if it’s really pulling someone out of the mire that is poverty.
microfinance is just what it sounds like – micro-amounts of money lent to someone in a developing nation who wants to start or build a business. sometimes these folks want to borrow as little as $100. sometimes it’s more.
the logistics seem to be staggering but apparently it’s not too bad. one microfinance institution, http://www.kiva.org, has lent $34 million in microloans around the world and they have experienced a mere 1.7% default rate. that’s $578,000 of dollars list out of $34m. your money is in a more dangerous spot when it’s on wall street.
now these microfinance organizations don’t pay interest, but you’re only loaning a small amount – sometimes $25 or $50.
this is the kind of change the world needs to see. this inspires people to work hard, start/build a business, and take control of their situation.
will it work every time? no.
will it work most of the time? i think so.
will it change lives for the long term rather than the short term? yes
should we do this and forsake peoples’ immediate needs? NO!!
i’m going to research this further, learn more about it and maybe get involved. this spans all political ideologies. giving someone a resource they have never had access to in order to assist them in their success is what we all need to be doing in one form or another.