Some of the best moments I have experienced in life are times when I am giving back and helping others. Two years ago I started a mountain bike club at the alternative high school where I teach English. We have gone on four bike trips so far, and each time the good feelings I experience just keep getting better and better. The best part of giving back is the fact that I loose my ego for the moment and all that matters is helping to facilitate a growth moment in another person. All worries and thoughts about life like job responsibilities, bills and other concerns drop off, and the reality of the moment is all that matters. These moments help clarify my life and make it real. When I see a student of mine smiling and growing in new ways and trying something new like riding a bike, it helps me to realize that life is more about helping others and creating new experiences for others. By doing these things my own life takes on more intense meaning and I feel whole. So much of our lives are about what makes me happy or what can I get in life. Giving to others makes life have more value and it takes the me out of the equation.
In that moment I am transcending myself and I am becoming a part of a life that is bigger than just me. I am becoming part of a community of people and a larger world, and in that moment everything seems just right.
*Thanks Stephen Janes and TripsForKidsWNC for the donation of 5 bikes to our club last year.