Friday, December 16, 2005

The Bicycle's Lesson

I was a twelve year old American male suffering the cruel and unusual experience of not having a bicycle. How could I develop normally? Everyone had a bicycle but me. Life doesn’t have to be fair but it should be fair to me!

On the spectrum from poor to wealthy we camped on the left end. I felt guilty about asking for a bicycle but I faced that emotional trial head on and begged and pleaded without hope of success. The day a brand new, shining bicycle appeared I was amazed, excited and had a renewed faith in the fairness of life.

One week later – honest, just one week – I was sitting admiring this mode of transportation, this admission ticket to the brotherhood of young adventurers
and explorers, when a strange mood settled on me. Thoughts began exploding inside my head.

“It’s just a bicycle. It’s metal and rubber and plastic and nothing more. It’s not the source of happiness that I expected. How did my father afford it? It must have cost as much as he brings home in a week. Why did he buy it? It’s not his nature to give in to begging. Does he love me this much?” As I sat there staring at the bicycle I began to think about my father and how grateful I was for him. Financially, I may have been raised on the poverty line but I have good memories and an eternal respect for my father.

In was in that moment that I realized what’s valuable in life. Things have no value. Never again have they held an attraction for me. Only family and friends and people have value.


Blogger Buffalo said...

On huge chunk of knowledge at a very tender age.

12/16/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger George Breed said...

You bet, Buddy!

12/16/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Thom said...

For me it was my mother giving me a book of the 'wrong' set of young detective twins. She did her best to give me what i wanted. Even though it was not the book i wanted it was a series i ended up liking even more. I use that as a measuring stick in my life now; to see if peoples actions are true and to see if what i get is better than what i want.

12/16/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

So very true, a life lesson that some seem to never learn. ec

12/16/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew May said...

"Only family and friends and people have value."

Very true, everything else is just rust waiting to happen ;)

12/16/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Very true, but this past week, both of my sons had their bikes stolen (because they had cheap bike locks securing them), and now they must ride the bus to get to work. Within a month or two, they'll be able to save up for another - obviously their bikes were valuable to someone. Just a tangent, I know...

12/16/2005 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

When I was that age my mother offered me some champagne, having explained just how much it cost. I was so upset I could not drink it!

12/16/2005 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

Rob i don't think i should laugh at your comment. but its funny! your mom sounds like my dad!!!

i_wonder thanks for this, it is so very true!

12/16/2005 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gaye said...

I'm sure the look on your face when your dad gave you the bike more than made up for the cost in his eyes... love is sweet that way...

12/16/2005 07:02:00 PM  

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