EP54: What Love Looks Like - 2024 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

Many of us love to ride.  We love the freedom of the road.  We also love our families, love our friends; we love our dog.  An easy word to throw around isn’t it!  Love.  It’s a big word.  Can be powerful.  Full of all sorts of meaning.  John Lennon, Taylor Swift, George Strait, Karen Carpenter, James Taylor…, all quite good at describing Love in their music.  But may I ask you this?  Have you seen it or felt it in our world lately?  Maybe Dion Warwick sang it best.  What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.  

On Sunday, May 19th, 2024, I’ll see love in this world.  I’ll feel it.  And so will over 100,000 motorcycle riders.  On Sunday morning, literally around the world, there will be a Global hug.  An expression of love for those we know and also a love for total strangers.  Maybe you’ll even feel it from wherever you are.  A warmth from human connections.  Hearts beating together.  Am I being a bit over-dramatic?  No, I don’t think so.  I’ve seen it first hand.  I’ve felt it.  It’s real.

In support of men’s mental health and prostate cancer research, the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride will be a gathering once again on Sunday, in over 950 cities around the world.  A gathering of motorcycle riders all dressed in fancy clothing on classic motorcycles, good people who care about finding solutions for men’s health issues and who aren’t afraid to demonstrate love and compassion for all the world to see.  

Love for those they lost, for those who are still with us and love for total strangers.  It’s a beautiful thing and that’s what the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is all about.  It’s a model for this big hurting world, isn’t it?.  Maybe we as motorcycle riders and everyone really, maybe all need to get a little bit better at showing fellow riders and even total strangers that we care about them.  Let’s talk about it.  Thank you for joining me today!

I don’t know why I did it.  I just felt compelled to do it, right then and right there.  Here’s the backstory.  A month ago, I attended a memorial service for the father of one of my close friends.  Todd did such a wonderful job speaking to the crowd gathered at the church.  Telling us about his dad, about how funny he was, about how much his dad loved his family.  Todd of course talked about how much he loved his dad and how much he would miss him.  I knew Todd’s dad too.  He was a very good man. It took a lot of courage for Todd to speak and hold it together.  

In the service, I sat between two of our friends from High School, David and Joe.  We so admired Todd’s courage to share such happy memories while also feeling the tremendous loss.  

I was reflecting on that memorial service, when I did it.  I set up my MacBook, propped it up on a stack of books and pressed record.  No script.  My hair was kinda all over the place.  I just recorded myself telling my friends, many of whom were fairly active on Facebook, that I cared about them.  No, I am not ill, my days were not numbered as far as I know.  It was just an overwhelming urge to tell people whom I love that I love them and request that we connect sometime in person, whenever we could.  That very evening, I did meet up with one of those close friends from the past, and it was wonderful! 

It’s been amazing the response to that video.  It says that it’s been viewed over 1000 times and I don’t even have that many friends on Facebook!  Almost immediately my old friends started responding.  Yeah, we can bash Facebook all we want and I get it, but in this case, it was a tool that allowed me to start a real communication, with real friends, many of whom I knew and loved in years past but because I had moved out of state many years ago and because of the busyness of life , I had not really talked with so many of them in a long time.  Many had such a positive impact on my life.  It felt really, really good to tell them that I cared about them.

Expressions of love for those we love is one thing, but an expression of love for a stranger, well that takes things to a whole different level.  Any number of times on this podcast

You tell yourself! It’s not about me when you do something nice for someone else, it’s about others.  I do it for them, these demonstrations of love and compassion, like raising funds and participating in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.   Yeah, but.,,, maybe it is about you!   Maybe it should be.  Maybe you do deserve credit for what you do for others.  It feels good to help a stranger.  It feels good to tell someone that you care.  

Supporting others either emotionally or financially can be exhausting.  But I’m convinced that someone, somewhere, perhaps even in an unseen Spiritual Realm, sees what you’re doing and maybe says “Well done”.  

That’s Love and that feels really, really good.   Thank you for making a positive difference in the world, sometimes from the seat of a motorcycle, one smile, one handshake, one hug at a time.  As always, thank you for listening.  I wish you peace.  I wish you love.