I recently watched the documentary Bidder 70. If you haven't seen it, it's Tim DeChristopher's story. I know there are some of you who are asking who is Tim DeChristopher? 2008 is when Tim's story begins. He comes up with an idea. A big idea that can throw a system into chaos. What was that idea? Tim went to an auction of public lands, and low and behold he was the high bidder. The problem is he didn't have the $1.7 million he bid on the land. He placed fraudulent bids on the land.
Now, why would a college student do this? It's simple. He believed that he could stop the land from being sold if he was the top bidder. This land was important to him because it was pristine land that was up for sale in Utah. The people most interested in purchasing the land were mining companies. He believed that he could make a difference.
In case you haven't figured it out. Knowingly placing these bids was a crime. Tim knew that there would be consequences. He knew that he could be prosecuted. He knew that if he did what he thought was right. He could pay for it. And he did. He was sentenced to two years in prison. The catch is Tim could have taken a plea bargain. He could have gotten out of going to prison. But he didn't want the bargain. He wanted to pay the price for his fraud. He said that was the point of it all. That he would have to go to jail if he committed the crime. He was willing to do what it took to let the public know about how much he valued that land. He wanted others to know how important the environment is to him.
It made me think what am I willing to do for what I truly believe? Don't worry I'm not going to follow in his footsteps. But it made me think if you want to be a person with integrity, you have to be willing to stand up for something. I think in my life it's more about the day to day decisions I have to make. What am I willing to do to treat people the way I want to be treated? It's a daily challenge for all of us I think. But am I willing to go against the flow to assure that someone is treated with respect. I think so, but time will tell.