Make it Happen Monday: Be a Positive Contributor
Our good friend, Eric brings his wisdom and talks about being a positive contributor to society in today’s Make it Happen Monday post.
Be a Positive Contributor
by Eric Hutchins
I am a huge fan of the Lovingthebike site and of Darryl, its creator. He recently asked me to guest blog about what the site means to me. I struggle sometimes to put my thoughts into words worth reading – I’m a site fan, not a writer — but here’s my best shot:
I have a fairly simplistic view of things, life in particular. I attribute that to my engineering education and a desire to understand and reduce things to their most fundamental level.
I believe in the concept of balance, of action and reaction, of positive offsetting negative. My wife Pamela, a writer, describes it as polarity, a force at the molecular level that brings things together (or drives them apart). In all aspects of our world, there are opposing forces whose relative balance dictates the direction things take.
I apply this concept to people and feel that I can categorize them into two basic types: those that produce and those that consume, or those whose presence adds and those that takes away. Some people add something positive (something tangible, something measurable) to the world the around them, and others remove those same things.
Our modern day American culture is geared to measuring worth by possessions, by social status, rank, size of house and quality of car. Unfortunately, the means at which those are obtained are seemingly irrelevant. All you have to do is look at the pedestal that the Paris Hiltons and Kim Kardashians of the world are put upon. Measure that against their contributions, and it is pretty easy to decide for yourself if they are consuming or providing to our world. The point here? Being successful by our society’s standards does not necessarily mean you add something positive to the world.
I think it’s also important not to be confused and equate positive contribution to the world with the simple production of something you can touch. Sometimes positive contribution comes from that which is physically made, and sometimes from the non-physical, such as a blog, or a song, or a hug. As an example, it takes a lot of energy, along with consumable resources, to produce a packet of cigarrettes. Does the production of those cigarettes at the manufacturing plant ADD to our world? Not very much, in my mind.
At an individual level, it takes less energy to consume than it does to produce, right? It’s easier to sit back and feed off the life’s work of others. The danger of course is when those consuming outnumber those producing. When that happens, balance is lost and things go downhill.
What Darryl and the Lovingthebike site remind me of with resounding strength and clarity is the importance of being a positive contributor. It reminds me of how very important it is to leave more than you take, to give more than you receive and to be grateful for the opportunity to do that. I believe that Darryl is one of the people that make the world better by their presence. He reminds me of who I would like to be, who I am sometimes, and kicks me in the tail when I get off track.
There are lots of cycling blogs out there with good cycling information. Lovingthebike is one of them. But Darryl’s site is the only one I’ve found that adds to the positive in my world and brings out the desire in myself to be a positive force to others. That’s why I’m a fan. That’s why I Enjoy the Ride, and I’m Loving the Bike.
Eric Hutchins is a Chemical Engineer with Process Consulting Services in Houston. He’s also a cyclist, surfer, ex-triathlete, and bass player on the side. On top of it all, he’s an awesome motivator, kind friend, and all around great guy. He really is one of the good guys out there. Watch for another guest post from Eric about the adventures of owning a Caribbean bicycle shop coming soon. You can follow Eric on Twitter at @trimon29.