|AMA Hall of Fame Inductee Bessie Stringfield|
Monday, November 16, 2015
"Enlightened Bikers" - Is there such a thing?
Enlightened: to give intellectual or spiritual light to; instruct; impart knowledge – according to Dictionary.com “Is there such a thing as “Enlightened Bikers”?” you might be asking yourself…. Long story short: yes there is, and we need more of them.
As of late we have seen Halloween costumes spark an attack, racism and ‘safe places’ on college campuses, and – sadly – terrorist attacks on the citizens of Paris. This implies some people have gone overboard not to hurt anyone and others the extreme opposite. As for me, there’s a common thread in all of this: too many people are concerned with the opinions of others and are trying to control people into believing as they do. Is this really the reason we’ve been put on this planet?
When I asked that question to Google (because if Google doesn’t have the answer, we’re screwed – right?), it came back with a Wikipedia link. Wiki states: the meaning of life as we perceive it is derived from our philosophical and religious contemplation of, and scientific inquiries about existence, social ties, consciousness, and happiness.
“Happiness” – there’s an all encompassing word! Some of the same people who are concerned with the other people’s opinions seem to be placing their happiness on others. For example, “I’d be happier if s/he would spend more time with me,” or, “I’m sad because s/he said I’ve got an ugly face.” When you do that – place or give your power to be happy to someone else, then you play a very dangerous game. When you do that you will forever be ‘the victim.’ Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And she was right.
The majority of Bikers have known this Universal Truth for quite some time. The ‘biker culture’ as we know it today stems from soldiers returning from WWII. They were fed up with society telling them what to wear and how to act and quickly began doing things their own way while riding their motorcycles (but this is where society began to brand all bikers as ‘outlaw’ – a whole other blog topic we’ll get around to). Notable bikers who have exemplified this truth are Bessie Stringfield, Willie G. Davidson, Wayne Rainey and Dot Robinson.
For most of us that travel around on two wheels, we know of ‘The Biker Code.’ This is code is a basic understanding of the culture and is less about words, more about action. Even though this code is unspoken, it has been written down and I’ve attached a copy of it below. But still, when we look at the traits of brilliant/successful people, they share a lot with bikers: We are who we are – it’s as simple as that. We give respect where respect is due but do not need anyone to validate or contradict us. It is our responsibility to believe in ourselves, to know our worth. When you come to understand this is when you begin living your adventures in this life and can declare your freedom.
Need more proof that bikers are happier? A study done last year proves that women riders are happier compared to women who don’t ride. (I’ll bet dollars to donuts that the male counterparts feel the same way.) As bikers we’re comfortable in our own skin, we help others, we live for adventure and freedom. Freedom for us to live as we please, and freedom to let others do the same (as long as no one is hurting another). By living a Life Behind Bars we can become better at really living the adventure. And when we achieve that, the world just may be a better place because there will be happier people in it.