Make it Happen Monday: Create Your Own Culture

07
Nov
2011

One of my favorite quotes of all time is:

“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves.  And you have to be strong enough to say, if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.  Create your own.”

This is a quote by a man named Morrie Schwartz, a retired college professor who taught great lessons right up until his death.  He became recognized by offering candid, heartfelt insight into many of the philosophical questions that so many of us ask ourselves (or should be asking ourselves ) about life, work, community, relationships, aging, and death. And he offered all of this insight from a unique perspective.  Most importantly he offered it with love for the world.  The reason I like this quote so much is because it gives me the confidence and the motivation to follow my own star.  It instills in me the belief that following along with society is not always the best thing to do.  As long as the path you chose includes proper values and beliefs, we should each follow our own course.  We are subject to the same outside culture as our neighbors, but we also have the choice to accept this as reality, or to create our own.

It is such a simple quote, but it can provoke an abundance of comments and stories.  This comment can be applied to the proverbial Rat Race that is talked about so often.  We are cultured to believe that following the path of getting a job, getting married, buying a house, having children, etc, is the way that life should be lived in order to end up as a success.  What Morrie is saying is that just because other people are doing it, does not necessarily make it right for you.  We have to create our own definition of success and live our life in pursuit of this goal.

Your definition of success may be different from what society deems it to be, but that should not deter you from believing in your definition.  The Rat Race is a great playing field for those who truly want to be involved in the game of Corporate America, but it might be the wrong path to take if you are following a different goal.  The problem, however, lies in the fact that this traditional culture is everywhere, and you are smacked in the face with it everyday.  The reason Morrie says you have to be strong enough is because in order to remain on your own path, you have to be incredibly strong to survive the winds that are trying to blow you onto the path that the rest of society is following.

Create Your Own Culture.  Enjoy Your Ride.

Photo c/o mitchalbom.com

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jenniferannehilton Jennifer Hilton

    Well Grenada is not so unlike Jamaica! Brave move but seems like the right one for YOU, and that’s what’s important. Making our own footprints….

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Jennifer……hope you can make a trip over here sometime, it would be great to meet you and get some riding in together.

  • Eric Hutchins

    I always look forward to these and am never disappointed (even when it takes me till Thursday to get to it, hmmmm I am in the rat race). Its already been said in other comments but the word that comes to mind while reading this is courage. Having the courage to do it your way, and the support of a partner to validate the choice and to work together with to meet your shared goals, is an awesome thing,

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      This Make it Happen Monday post is now complete…..it needed a little touch of Eric.  Thanks for your comments as always, my friend.

  • http://twitter.com/cyclelogical cyclelogical

    Great post, thanks for this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040301851 Amanda Gale Kotyk

    You’ve made Monday’s my favorite day of the week!!  I LOVE Make it Happen Monday’s, and this post delivered all the way!  
    Thanks for being so positive, motivating, and having the courage to be who you are!! 

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      You and the Kids are the best thing about this Lifestyle that we’ve created.

  • http://www.reasons2ride.com/ Joel Phillips

    I LOVE this post Darryl.  It
    speaks to me on so many levels.  I LOVE
    the bicycle because of how it makes me feel, physically, mentally and
    spiritually.  It’s my vehicle to live life
    to its fullest.  When I started riding my
    bicycle again, I found the courage and strength to live life on my terms.  Is it a struggle?  You bet! 
    Have I been criticized and second-guessed (even by myself)? For sure!  Do I regret my decision to control my own
    destiny?  NO WAY Brother!  That’s a feeling I
    wish all could experience.  I suspect you
    might agree, riding a bicycle is a great metaphor for life.  Think about the hills, elements, injuries…all
    require effort to overcome.  As in life,
    there are always going to be obstacles to overcome and doing so requires
    effort.  I set riding in the “Ride the
    Rockies” event next June as a goal because, for me, getting into shape to make and
    complete the week long ride, will mean I have overcome every obstacle,
    self-doubt and fear that has kept me from succeeding and “creating my own culture”.

     

    Your take on why Morrie uses the word, strength, “…in order to
    remain on your own path, you have to be incredibly strong to survive the winds
    that are trying to blow you onto the path that the rest of society is
    following”, is evidence how strongly cycling has influenced your success and culture.  Your use of the word “wind” is
    brilliant.  Think about the power of wind
    Darryl, a relentless driving force that, quite literally, changes
    landscapes.  Yet, as long as you keep
    pedaling, you can build strength and resist its erosive forces.  When you think about what society can throw
    at you, trying to force you down the “right” path, wind is the perfect word.  What better way than turn straight into it and pedal like there is no tomorrow…the longer you do, the stronger
    you become.  In fact, along the way you
    may be surprised at the strength you will find.

     

     

    Thanks my friend and Happy Riding….

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I always love to read your comments, Joel and thanks for this one.  You always seem to add an element to the post somehow that makes me look at things a little differently.

  • Eric

    I’ve probably already said this once before but I have to say that this is the best make it happen post yet.  Thank you Darryl for sending me into this Monday feeling charged up and focused. 

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      I really appreciate the kind comments.  Also glad we’re able to help get you off in the right direction each Monday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Starry/100000742238449 Tim Starry

    It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.EE Cummings

    He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.Raymond Hull

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great quotes, Tim.  I think Morrie, EE, and Raymond would have gotten along very well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040301851 Amanda Gale Kotyk

      As I was reading this post, that EE Cummings quote popped into my head….I was going to leave it in the comment section, but you beat me to it Tim!!  :)  Great quotes! 

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