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When The Student Is Ready: Three Times I Was Able To Help Strangers Understand Bitcoin

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An educator recalls three times she was able to help strangers better understand Bitcoin out in the wild.

This is an opinion editorial by Tali Lindberg, co-founder of Free Market Kids, a company focused on financial literacy and Bitcoin education.

Source: Author

My husband and I decided to become Bitcoin educators because we passionately believe that Bitcoin is a money standard everyone should know about. However, it can be very discouraging sometimes when most people see us as religious, cult evangelists who they should avoid or only politely tolerate.

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But then, out of the blue, I’ll experience amazing conversations with people who are ready to hear what we have to say. They are just waiting to find someone to discuss Bitcoin who can help them understand it better.

This article describes three such encounters I’ve had in unexpected places. As the saying goes, (slightly modified), “When the student is ready, the teacher (me) will be sent to them.”

One: GoDaddy Tech Support

A few months ago, when my husband Scott and I were just starting our financial-literacy- and Bitcoin-focused organization Free Market Kids, we had a lot of trouble getting our website to work correctly. I spent hours with tech support through various service providers. During this incident, I called GoDaddy support and was instructed to reboot my computer.

While we were waiting for the computer to do its thing, instead of sitting on the line in silence, I began to chit chat with the support guy about where he was located, the weather, etc. Pretty soon, we were asking each other about our work and life experiences.

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He asked, “So, what is Free Market Kids?”

“Well, we teach people about Bitcoin and money with our board games,” I answered.

“Bitcoin!” Sighing deeply, he continued, “I sold mine years ago.”

He explained that, early on, he had been persuaded by his friend to mine Bitcoin. When the price went up, he got excited and sold all his bitcoin because he needed the cash for something.

“And now,” he lamented, “I’m watching the bitcoin price go up like crazy, and I can’t believe I blew my chance!”

I asked him what he knew about Bitcoin, aside from what his friend told him to do.

“Very little,” he replied.

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So, I explained the fundamental properties of Bitcoin to him and pointed out that he could always get back in. Thirty minutes later, long after my computer had rebooted and the original issue was resolved, we finally ended the call.

I was so excited about the conversation I went to tell my husband about it.

“I thought you were on GoDaddy support?” Scott asked.

“I was!” I responded excitedly.

When the student is ready, the teacher will be sent to them!

Two: The Veterinary Office

In preparation for some conferences we were attending, I designed a company t-shirt. Unfortunately, the first batch didn’t turn out well, so I decided to wear it around the house. Remembering a veterinarian appointment at the last minute, I rushed out with our dog, forgetting that I was sporting our company shirt.

After getting checked in and ushered to a tiny exam room, I sat down to wait with my elderly standard poodle, Ava, panting by my side. Moments later, the door opened, and the vet tech walked in, clipboard in hand. He looked at me without saying anything and squinted his eyes.

“Uh, do I have something on my face?” I thought, feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Then he broke the awkward silence and said, “Bitcoin, huh?”

“Yes?” I answered tentatively, looking down at my shirt.

“I have some questions for you!” he boomed. “Someone told me that bitcoin will go to zero. What do you think?”

“Uh, right… What do you know about Bitcoin in general?” I responded.

“Not much,” he admitted.

We chatted about Bitcoin, and he had endless questions. I watched the pen in his hand hover over Ava’s chart, but we didn’t talk about that patient, panting dog for a long time.

The vet visit that was supposed to take 20 minutes ended up taking an hour and a half.

When the student is ready, the teacher will be sent to them!

Three: The Jewelry Store

I went to a jewelry store to replace a broken necklace. Once again, I was wearing our company shirt and running errands. Two ladies stood behind the counter. While one was packing up my purchase, the other eyed me intently, leaned toward me, and whispered, “My brother is into cryptocurrency, but I don’t understand it. I know the economy is going to sh*t, but I don’t have a million dollars to invest in bitcoin.”

She continued, her eyes filled with tears, “I’m a single mom, and I’m scared of what’s going to happen.”

She looked tired, discouraged and very concerned.

“You don’t need a million dollars to invest in bitcoin,” I answered. “You can start with very small amounts, $1 or $5.”

We chatted for a long time, and I hugged her before we said goodbye.

“There’s a reason we met today,” I told her. “Reach out to me any time!”

When the student is ready, the teacher will be sent to them!

And, oh, maybe I should wear our company shirt more often!

This is a guest post by Tali Lindberg. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.



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