I was going to blog about a specific essay, but I think I should just talk about the source.
If you’ve never been on thisibelieve.org, it’s time you checked it out. It’s a compilation of essays by regular people who have a point to make. If you spend an hour perusing this site’s contents, you may find new ideas you’ve never thought of, you may hear stories that shock or inspire you, and you may get a sense of what’s out there in the world today. You can listen to the authors read their own work if you’ve got about 5 minutes. The essays are organized by topic, so you can go straight to whatever interests you and hear some opinions on it, whether it be education and knowledge (my personal favorite), the environment, freedom, or government and constitution. I list these because they are some of the more Thoreauvian topics, but there are many more.
You can find some wonderful, vintage essays straight from the 50’s, and see how thought has changed and how it has remained the same. You’ll also notice some very influential authors mixed in among the names you don’t recognize which may belong to someone halfway across the country who lives a completely different life from the one you know, but who wants to tell you what gets them out of bed in the mornings. If you’re feeling up to it, you can even submit one yourself.
It’s a great trait of our techy culture that everyone can get on their soapbox just as Thoreau did in the 19th century, and there are some excellent writers and thinkers out there. The kind of individuality you see on this site, every man getting his say and making his mark, can be looked on as a sign of living deliberately. These people broke out of the thoughtless routine of day-to-day life and took the time to organize their deepest, most personal beliefs and take a stand. The results are entertaining, inspiring, and powerful.