Cambrian: Opinion

Humanity and creativity are worthwhile investments

As the old saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” A bit of technology I’m excited about, something that hasn’t been improved much upon in more than 100 years, is the beehive. I’ve always wanted one. To that in a minute.

Now, this may sound like I’m totally digressing (I sort of am), but trust me, it will get me to my point. I have long complained about where our tax dollars go. I trust you complain, too. Some are obvious uses. Some uses do not abide by our values, and that is how it has to be, but I never agree with the majority going to military spending. OK, that thought aside …

I did not lead by the best example for my children, in the art of managing money. I am proud to say I have actually got something in savings and no credit card debt. Good job. But, I do not know, nor do I really care to know, anything about stocks and bonds and all that. I don’t have enough to invest; numbers make me dizzy. It has to be e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y simple. My portfolio consists of lousy drawings and bad poetry from high school.

Moving forward, a couple of years ago, I received a mass email from a friend who was starting a campaign on Kickstarter, the original “crowd source” site, I believe. He wanted to create a world-encompassing film series on the violin (of which he is a master). 

“Huh, I think this is a wise investment of my money — I like this friend, I believe more people need to know more about music, I know it will be a quality production … sure, I’ll kick in.” Different amounts donated received different “thank you” gifts. Cool.

For anyone who does not know, “crowdsourcing” is a campaign by which an individual or small group asks the general public (usually promoted through various social media) to help them produce a product or service that will benefit a large segment of our population, or a very needy group or sometimes even just something clever that should be shared. 

Folks/inventors may ask for anything from a thousand dollars to $100,000 for materials and production facilities. Think water filters, solar lights, etc. Here comes the idea from the first paragraph: A father and son team from Australia started a campaign on Indiegogo (another crowdsourcing site) to raise $70,000 toward development of the new type of beehive (www.honeyflow.com). 

The hive allows keepers to remove honey without cracking open the hive, disturbing and stressing out the bees and gather honey in far less time. Ingenious, to say the least! 

The money received will go toward retooling factories, ensuring quality production, making them more affordable to more countries, to hopefully help ailing bee populations. Listen to this: they asked for $70,000. They broke a record by raising $2 million on their first day! Obviously they did some pre-campaigning, but — As of March 5, they had raised $4.2 million with 32 days left to go (these are dated activities). 

I just wanted to say how amazing I think it is that when a good idea comes along, it can be possible to make it happen. Books for communities in need, documentaries, relocation costs … the possibilities are, obviously, limitless. This is how I want to invest: in real humans with real ideas. I’m not going to make thousands of dollars on interest, but my world will be a better place because we are all in it together and we little folks have just as much to offer, if not more, than mega-corporations on corporate welfare and monster banks that are robbing us blind. I think this offers hope for the world on some level. This is the world I want to live in. 

I believe I shall support humans, today and every day!

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