Thursday November 19, 2009 #173

”Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it”


Today’s JAM comes to us from new JAMmer KT.  Enjoy her powerful message to never lose our passion for the everyday moments of life.

In 1999 I participated in the AIDS Ride from Boston to New York City.  On the first morning, a Friday, we started out just as the sun was rising and within an hour had managed to thin out enough to ride just about single file.  We were still pretty tight, wheel-to-wheel and occasionally two across but we had stretched out into about a mile-long, colorful peloton of riders.

We began a long, slow ascent on a street that seemed to be a main thoroughfare for people heading to work and kids heading to school.  The side of the road we were on was intentionally cleared of traffic for our event, but the opposite direction was backed up at least a quarter mile.  As I rode up the hill I looked at the faces of the people stuck in traffic, wondering what they must be thinking as they watch a couple of thousand cyclists pass by.  I figured I would hear horns honking and see people waving, raising their cups of coffee in a mild salute to whatever goal we were trying to achieve or charity we were riding for.  I was struck instead by the indifference in their expressions.  I don’t recall seeing one adult responding to what they were witnessing.  What I did see was people heading off to work seemingly annoyed that the road was backed-up, probably because we were turning up their street and blocking the road below. Rather than enjoying this out of the ordinary spectacle they were just waiting for us to pass so they could continue on their way to work.  Then as I came around a bend in the road I saw a school bus.  The kids on the bus were going nuts, waving and yelling, bouncing up and down in their seats. Any time one of us would wave to them they would smile and wave more.

A bunch of us started punching our fists in the air, pointing right at the kids, giving them the thumbs up and yelling right along with them.  It was a rush, for the kids and the riders.  I wished there were more buses.  But no, the cars started again right behind the school bus.  And again, no reaction, no excitement, nothing.  This happened ten years ago and I remember it as if it happened five minutes ago.

I vowed, then and there, never to become so dispassionate in life that the simplest things would cease to amaze me.

Best lesson I ever learned; from some kids on a school bus.

From Kristi Jacobsen