By Ross Ulbricht
Suddenly everything changes. Not only was the NFT auction a huge success, but now there is a FreeRoss DAO. I quickly found out things have grown beyond my capacity to control or even influence. I simply do not have the communication bandwidth. By the time my letters reach home, the situation has changed. Sometimes the letters just disappear (like the original version of this very message).
I am okay with all of this. It’s a lesson in letting go, and besides…I found what I was looking for: meaning and purpose. To begin with, I have discovered there are many people who want to own my art. Art has always been a hobby for me, something I do for the satisfaction and joy of expressing myself. Now it seems I am a professional! That others enjoy my art as much as I do — perhaps more so — gives me a great feeling of worth, something my daily environment has been eroding in me and those around me for many years.
My mind has been buzzing with new ideas these past few weeks. I am pouring my heart and soul into them. The materials available to me may be limited, but they are more than enough for me to express myself. Some of the themes coming to mind: growth even in darkness, a vision of the future, a glimpse of the world I live in, and more. I am working on these ideas a little every day and enjoying the process of creation.
Then, there is the money we raised. What an incredible blessing and opportunity. Now, I know whatever legal expenses arise can be taken care of and I won’t be a financial burden to my family. But more importantly, we can start helping the people who have been damaged by this prison system. As I said here, I am committed to helping kids travel to visit their moms and dads in prison. This is important. One can turn their heart off to the people locked away, but the kids who have lost their parents to mass incarceration deserve better. I can’t send their mom or dad home, but there is nothing stopping us from reuniting child and parent for a weekend. Even that small amount of contact can be transformative and healing on both sides. I have seen it with my own eyes.
These two things — making art and reuniting families — are more than enough for me to focus on. I have something more important now than just getting through the days and months, more important than “doing time.” It’s hard to express how valuable that is to me, especially in the position I am in. There were many many people who came together to make the NFT a success, and I won’t try to list them all. I don’t even know them all! Let’s just say I have a huge debt of gratitude, and I am humbled by the outpouring of support.