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.


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30 Responses to “ Make it Happen Monday: Be a Positive Contributor ”

  1. Vinod on August 13, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Hey Eric, I love your article! I was looking for ways in which people transform themselves from being a mere consumer to a contributor to society and that is when I came across this. Very nicely explained. Recently I attended a workshop, where I learned this concept, however the coach categorized people in three categories (1) Consumers (2) Competitors and (3) Contributors. Consumers only take things, competitors take things and compete with others and keep comparing what others have got vs what they have. Contributors add to society, give to others and are grateful for what they already have.

    Kind regards,

    • Eric Hutchins on August 13, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Wow! You have uncovered an “oldie”. I am glad and I am glad that it resonated with you. It is a subject that means a lot to me. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

  2. Nan Loyd on December 20, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Hmmm. It is my opinion that you are going to have to quit saying, “I’m not a writer.”  This is the third post I’ve read by you and they all positively added, not only to my knowledge, but my life.  This is an excellent post!  I like to think of it as sucking the life out of others for your own gain or giving of yourself to help others better their life in some way.  YOU, my friend, give of yourself and add to the lives of others.  Great message!

    • Eric Hutchins on December 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you very much Nan, That was very very nice of you.

  3. Paul Fagan on December 19, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Good post Eric. But let’s be fair… Kim and family have contributed to my understanding of “dysfunctional”. Is that unfair?

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      LOL, I am not sure that the UNDERSTANDING of dysfunctional is a positive thing but…… 🙂

  4. Susiefagan on December 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Great article.

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Thank you GIGI.

  5. Aaronthestrong on December 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the great post, Eric! 

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Aaron, I see you over here on this site all the time and know you are a really supportive follower of LTB.

  6. cyclelogical on December 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

    A well written post. Thanks so much for sharing. 

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      Thank You, I count myself lucky to be a friend of Darryl and his family.

  7. Natalie on December 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I just love it when an engineer in the oil indusry in the united states of america has not forgotten how to seek out and enjoy the things in life that truly enrich the soul. 

    As an earth community member, thank you Eric for sharing and for living the beauty – through being the music, becomming one with the bike, the road and the waves,  the job and the life (including the lumps) … I am somehow better too  because of you.


    P.S. – and thanks for sharing this website!  LOVINGTHEBIKE.COM – it is my first time on and it is super!!!!!

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Thanks NAT-A-PILLAR, it is a great site and Darryl is a wonderful guy with an amazing wife and kids. You would love these guys they are awesome

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 11:04 am

      And Natalie, it IS possible to work in the oil industrial and still be a positive contributor to society :).

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on December 20, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Hi Natalie,

      I’m glad that Eric’s post was able to sway you over to our site.  Please be sure to check back as often as you can.  We have Make it Happen Monday posts,  Healthy Loving the BITE recipes each Thursday, and new and exciting posts every other weekday.

      Thanks for checking us out.


  8. bruce on December 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

    great message. Thanks for putting this out there.

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Hey Bruce, THANK YOU, for everything.

  9. Joel Phillips on December 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

    There is nothing more irritating than a person that explains how difficult it is for them to articulate thoughts into written words,  right before they masterfully convey a message.  It makes me feel like I’ve been hustled in a dark, smoky pool hall in the seedy part of some unfamiliar city.  Duped into expecting sub-standard performance and blindsided with the conviction of a champion.  Don’t sell yourself short Eric, you did an amazing job with this post.  

    Thank you for your contribution today, it reminds me of what Muhammed Ali once said,

    “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth…

    Happy Riding…..

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

      Sorry for being irritating, and :), I must confess I had some inside help :).

  10. Jerod Mund on December 19, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Eric, you have put everything I feel as well into words beautifully.

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Jerod, is this the Jerod of Fort Worth/Stephenville fame? If so cool that you are here. If not its pretty cool too I guess so I am not really sure where I am going with this!

      • Jerod Mund on December 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

        Haha, yes this is Jerod from Stephenville. I saw Pamela’s post on Linkedin and was curious. Very good read.

  11. Pamela on December 19, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I agree about this site and about Darryl (and about what Darryl said about you and your blog).  Bandwagon, I’m jumping on 🙂
    But there’s positivity in agreeing instead of disagreeing.  I love that we have the opportunity for dissent, but I hate conflict, controversy, drama, and consumption of energy without purpose.  I believe, I believe.  Now, I have to go add something to the world: I’m working on a book about positive relationships!!!! I’m proud of you Eric.  Great job.  And thanks, Darryl, I’m lovingthebike, too.

  12. Martha A. Boyd on December 19, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Engineers rock 😉 !!!!!!! Thanks Eric!!! I needed this, especially on a Monday!!! 

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Thank you so much Martha, I love the concept of “make it happen Monday” and was grateful for the chance to be a part of it.

  13. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race on December 19, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Great post and every word so true. If only a fraction of society saw it the same way.

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Jason, Is seems like there are a lot of folks content to just being parasitic. Its easy to be overwhelmed by it and get discouraged. Its really nice to have places like this site where people congregate and focus on the good, focus on the positive.

  14. Darryl is Loving the Bike on December 19, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I love this one, Eric.  Thanks for making it happen today and for providing one awesome post with such an incredible message.  I think being a positive contributor applies to all areas of life….including things like this blog, and today you’ve definitely made a positive contribution.  Thanks.

    • Eric Hutchins on December 19, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Hey my friend, thanks for the opportunity to do so. Its funny that you mentioned “including things like this blog” as a positive contribution. That was one of my core thoughts when I sat down to write this but it did not even make it into my first draft. Thankfully with Pamela in the house, she helped me with giving a voice to what I wanted to say ” a blog, or a song, or a hug”.

      You have done great stuff with this site in a short time Darryl, well done.


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