Value

Warning: this one may be a little out of left field to regular readers

VALUE

The boy didn’t ask questions. He just hopped on his bike and followed his nose. It inevitably led him to getting lost, but that was the point, even though he didn’t know it at the time. These adventures, care-free and self-propelled, were priceless, personal victories whose value was yet unknown.

As the boy grew older he started posing those questions. He searched Eastern religions and Western philosophies for answers and found a few along the way. He fell in and out of love and had his ups and downs. He looked for meaning in travel and work and books and friends. Then one day he hopped on his bike again for a very long ride through the desert. He followed the only road there was through a land so desolate it was impossible not to turn inwards. All day, every day, there was only the repetition of his pedal strokes, the monotony of the harsh, unchanging terrain, and the burn in his legs. It would have been easy to fool himself that he was actually going nowhere, but his efforts slowly gave back to him in intangible ways and he discovered again the value he couldn’t quite manage to identify.

It’s many years later and the man has stopped asking the questions. He now hops on his bike nearly every day and rides hard and strong. He has purpose, goals, and sometimes even a plan. He rides for many reasons now: to make a living, to stay healthy, to stave off illness, to challenge himself and to discover his limits. But he really rides because he understands that, for him, the value is in the ride, and the answers will come if he just keeps pedaling.