Home is where the inspiration is

The mysteries of the trade become no mystery, but are, as it were, in the air.” – Alfred Marshall

I found this pearl of wisdom in the same place where I find a significant share of my inspiration – while paging through the Economist. The source article suggests that this is the reason “why geeks flock to Silicon Valley and financiers converge on New York”. I’d like to offer another cluster to the collection: why rising politicos rally toward the nation’s capital.

As a young idealist fresh in the political arena, I lived in Washington DC during the summer after my freshman year of college. I fell in love with the district: I loved the monuments, I loved the museums, I loved feeling more independent than I ever had in my life. And I loved the people. Tell this to your typical Washingtonian and he may roll his eyes at you, but it’s true. Everywhere I looked I was surrounded by passionate, fierce professionals searching for something more. Meaning, money, power, change, it doesn’t matter – as John Mayer would say, it’s all bigger than my body.

And maybe more than people, I loved being surrounded by ideas. Sure I read the news at home, but in Washington DC I got to experience the news and live it firsthand. Instead of watching a debate on C-SPAN (I do it from time to time), I could go down to the House floor and see it for myself. Pieces of news don’t go unnoticed when everyone around you is talking about them, at least if you make a point to listen. Politics became my business, and talk of it surrounded me. Its mysteries were circulated in the air.

According to Economics Professor Stephen Landsburg (see More Sex is Safer Sex), intellectuals inspire each other to be even more innovative and generate even more ideas. And all of these people inspire everyone else to test their boundaries and aspire to further discovery. There’s a reason people choose to live in cities; they like to be surrounded by other people, regardless of what they might say to the contrary.

So even if I don’t ultimately end up in the District, I’d like to think I will always find myself surrounded by inspiring people and ideas that keep me on my toes. Once we settle and get comfortable, we stop growing. Life is about facing challenges, and I think I will always feel at home wherever I feel inspired.



~ by Lindsay Bembenek on May 25, 2010.

2 Responses to “Home is where the inspiration is”

  1. This would be why I love Chicago 🙂


  2. your wing span is ever increasing. Take note though, sometimes us “country bumpkins” have a thought or two.

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