Archive for June, 2012

Tomorrow is Father’s Day

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

6-16-12Once a year is a day which reminds us of someone we should celebrate all year long, our fathers.
Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote earlier this year, that I hope all fathers will read.
Fathers do matter! Having positive male role models in children’s lives is imperative.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has done extensive studies on the powerful impact a father has on his children, starting as early as birth. The website is well worth reading.
Traveling across the nation for the past several months and talking with thousand of people I have come to realize just how important a positive message can be to children, when imparted by a father. One of the most important learning lessons is the witnessing of the love a father shows to his wife. Parents interacting in positive ways in front of their children, will have healthier, more emotionally stable children, it is a proven fact.
Fathers matter…and of course, mothers matter too!

Veterans Medical Center, NYC

Friday, June 15th, 2012

6-15-12One of the busiest Veterans Medical Centers in the country is in New York City. I pulled up to the front of this Center and was immediately met with a group of Veterans wanting to thank me for spreading the word about Heroes, when I was there to thank them.
Victor was one of the first to come over to The Kindness Bicycle to welcome me. He spent 10 years in the Coast Guard and is a Wounded Warrior. He now works at the Center to help those returning home integrate back into society. One of those he helped was Thomas who is an Army E5 Sergeant (ret). Both men talked to me in great detail about their pride in the freedom we have in this country. It is because of them and all those before which allows me to ride freely across this country.
Thank you to all Heroes.

Flag Day

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

6-14-12As I rode beneath one of the two massive supports of the Brooklyn Bridge, with Old Glory fully unfurled in a steady wind above both, I felt a need to connect with as many of the hundreds of pedestrians I passed on The Kindness Bicycle. With my thumb raised and my other ringing the bicycle bell, I received ovations, thumbs-up and smiles. It was a huge welcome. There were several groups of hundreds of schoolchildren who high-fived me over a long part of the span. It was great seeing the interest of this many middle school students.
I rode down into Brooklyn beneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Both of these structures are getting major improvements and the construction company has a staging area where the  workers perform ground work. It is where a large flag is always displayed. A very proud ironworker was thrilled to take today’s photo.

So Much to See and Do

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

6-13-12New York City has a large amount of outdoor art and memorials and I enjoy pulling over on The Kindness Bicycle every chance I get to view the art and read the history of the memorials. One of the memorials is of Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy. It has an inscription on its base and it caught my eye as to how it can pertain to kindness, but how it is dated as well.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
The quote is from a time long before the inception of the Internet. All of us now have the opportunity to be a driving force behind an historic action. We can literally reach the world if we wish. It is right at our fingertips, waiting for us to act. We as individuals or as part of a group can start spreading the message of kindness in very powerful ways. You can bend the history of the world. Your change for the better in this world, can be just what all of us need.

Exciting Rides

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

6-12-12Riding through the streets of New York City can be challenging when the streets and sidewalks are full but it provides maximum exposure for my mission. It is great to be able to not be in a hurry as I stop at nearly every street corner for conversations. New Yorkers are very friendly when it comes to addressing the issues of the big signs on The Kindness Bicycle. Nearly everyone across the United States has an emotional connection to what I am doing, but New York even more so.
Today’s ride was incredible as I stayed in the south of Manhattan making it only as far north as Times Square.
The weather was perfect for the first part of my ride, cloudy and cool but then the skies opened up and made the ride to and across the Brooklyn Bridge a bit more challenging. What a great day of riding in this amazing city.

Quiet Pride

Monday, June 11th, 2012

6-11-12Carlos was a  Captain in the Army, retiring in the early 1970s. I met him yesterday in Manhattan sitting on a park bench. He sat by himself wearing his ball cap with the Army logo. It was adorned with medals he was awarded from his time served in Laos and Vietnam. I approached him, as I do most Veterans I talk with on the streets, with a “thank you for your service to our country.” A big smile spread across his face. He doesn’t hear words like that often enough and he certainly didn’t hear words like that when he came home in the 70s. He shared with me his stories and showed me his ankle with plates and several screws that has been a challenge to walk on for nearly 40 years. He has bayonets scars, pointing out the one visible in the side of his neck. He was in a group of 180 men and only 6 came home.
Here he sat near City Hall on a very busy street, as throngs of people walked by his food cart as he watched from a distance and recounted his days in his service to our country. He is a very proud man, one of millions of men and women with stories to share if you just take a few moments to say hello and thank you.
Welcome home Captain!

I Am

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

6-10-12I have been told many times along my travels over the past two years that it is imperative that I watch the documentary film “I Am.”  It is a film from 2011 that is written and narrated by movie director Tom Shadyac. The documentary tells of Tom’s personal life after a bicycle accident in 2007. He was badly injured but it gave him a chance to look at his personal life of “material excess” and that of humanity’s materialistic views of life.
This documentary is incredible and unfolds as Tom slowly recovers from his debilitating injuries and comes to the realization of what is truly important in his life, in all our lives, caring and loving everyone, every moment of our lives.
This film is a “must see” for everyone and should be viewed and studied in classrooms across the world. It holds the answer to man’s question of, “Why are we on this earth?”    To love.