I don’t personally know Elden Nelson (aka Fatty), I have only met his blog, but the depth of his personal story which he has been sharing with humor, grace, and humility has meant something to me in a way that I am not accustomed to.
I am, in my version of empathy-weak hedonism, pretty much concerned only with myself and my immediate surroundings. I really only dwell on my bike, my job, my sleep, my children, and my wife and my family. I act like a lot of the other stuff is just granted.
I also seem to have a well-developed misery-avoidance setting and if you carry that forward just a little bit and you might end up with inaction when action is needed.
Elden, amazingly and for no explainable reason, was the catalyst behind a small change in my motivation and action.
Really? If you get right down to it my wife has enough empathy for something like two full grown Texans and she has done more leading-by-example over the last ten years such that it would be foolish to suggest that somehow this funny blogger in Utah did more for me than her; he didn’t. She, and my parents before her, set the stage in so many ways that it defies my ability to recount and really defies the point of this message. Suffice it to say, that I was primed by a loving family and ready for this adjustment but I didn’t know it until Elden made his catalytic call to action.
It was worthy action for their sake.
Last night I saw Fatty’s post about the end of his wife’s fight with cancer and I got shivers. My misery-avoidance setting doesn’t even really allow me to seriously consider, deep-down, what it would feel like to go through a trial like that at this time in my life – but I got shivers.
This turn of events had me thinking more this morning and other than taking direct action against cancer on others behalf (as we have done and continue to do through the likes of the LiveStrong Foundation) it seems to me that living and loving like there is no tomorrow is the best course.
That is what I have read and re-discovered on fatcyclist.com – Elden and his wife Susan shared what it is like for a family, at pretty much the same place in their lives as mine, to live and love like there is no tomorrow.
The only thing to do now is thank them for sharing and then act on what I have learned.