“It came to me this weekend that, as I get older, my personal relevance is in direct correlation to my willingness to serve others, especially those who can do nothing in return.”- 11/2016
As Charlie and I travel, certain random thoughts pop into our heads. We try to always pop these as notes into the phone before the next distraction comes along and erases the very idea that could help us in the future. When the cares of life refuse to vanish down the pipes and instead result in a case of brain clog, we go back to the artesian well of random thoughts for a little refreshing.
As Charlie and I both continue to gray around the muzzles, thoughts naturally turn towards what legacy we will leave. I once had delusions of grandeur, of traveling by motorcycle full time and letting Charlie do the writing from the road. But we all have our crates, and some are of necessity; one cannot just ride away from children, grandchildren, aging parents, finances, etc. Neither would I want to be that person that could cavalierly forsake such responsibilities.
So we find our adventures when and where we can, shorter day and weekend trips, as it’s the trips that keep the story alive. Life is much like a hybrid car; if the wheels aren’t rolling, the batteries aren’t recharging. But much more than the meditative miles spent following the front wheel, it’s the people we meet on the road that recharge the creative batteries.
But now even that is hampered. It’s increasingly difficult to communicate effectively with many hiding behind masks, preconceived opinions, e-commerce, political propaganda, intentionally or unintentionally finding solace in solitude instead of by helping one another. Relationships are being replaced by fear and greed.
But that’s not me. How can I help others if I refuse to let others help me? So from now on, I am forgoing the drive through, the self check out line, all in the hope that a little human interaction can help cure what ails us. At the same time, I must check my own guns at the door. When I see that person wearing a mask while riding a bicycle, instead of my usual sneering, self righteous thoughts, I need to consider where they are at on their own personal journey; their fears are not my fears, and vice versa.
So, this whole “legacy” thing. I find it unsettling that when you look up the meaning of the word, the first definition concerns money; are you kidding me? How do I want to be remembered, he left us a legacy of a million dollars or he left his children a legacy of love and respect? Money can be replaced, a true legacy cannot.
I met a stranger last week who told me that his faith in the human race had been shattered. He had been attempting to capture or feed a starving dog, while others idly stood by and criticized his efforts. It came to me that maybe it wasn’t just about the dog; maybe it was about the boost to his own self esteem in making the gallant effort. Or maybe it was about his willingness to share his story with me at the risk of sounding pious, when I needed to hear it as much as he needed to tell it.
Some may think I’m preaching to the choir, I would say that I’m preaching to myself. The story must and will continue; it’s an easy choice to make when there are no other options that satisfy the soul. The most effective anti-depressant known to man is service to another that can do nothing in return.
We be of one blood, ye and I.