“Heroes aren’t born, but they are created in times of strife and struggle. Everyone is capable of being a hero in their own way, often without even knowing it, they are a hero to those around them.” ~ Unknown
Eugene bikes for 25 to 29 kilometres 4 times a week- given it doesn’t rain. He hauls his bike from Imus Cavite to Makati City and back twice a week and from Imus to a hospital in Dasmarinas Cavite twice a week.
“How long does it take you to reach your destination?”, I asked.
“Around an hour”, he nonchalantly replied as though moving through Manila’s and Cavite's traffic in 2 wheels is the easiest thing in the world.
He confided that at the start, he was merely traversing a distance of 700 meters ( which took him around 2 minutes) and then he gradually increased this distance. Now, he could easily manage 60 kilometres in a day ( 3-5 hours including the rest time ).
Why did you start biking?, I continued to inquire.
“Initially, it was for health reasons. I used to jog and thought of trying out biking. Also, I wanted to avoid the traffic and decrease my transportation cost”, he said.
“Then, I heard of the climate change issue and I included it in my reasons.”
“How did you make shift?”, I prodded.
“It was hard to adjust my routine initially
(I used to drive around the metro.) but I saw benefits- improved health, less expense and help to the environment.”
Like a staunch advocate that he is, he raised both hands, stomped his feet and bellowed, “Bike is life!”
“I became more open to a lifestyle change because of yoga. It taught me how to live simply.”, confided Marra a 1 year old pescetarian.
“How did you start?,” I asked.
“I started letting go of meat when I attended a yoga retreat for a weekend where we were only served vegan food.”
“Initially, I was wary of the diet because of my active lifestyle. I run marathons and I thought I need meat to sustain my fitness regimen.”
“Actually, I feel lighter now. In fact, my performance improved after
I changed my diet.”
“Why are you still at it?”, I queried.
“For good health. Then, I became more conscious when I watched the 'Cowspiracy' documentary. I was shocked to know that our food supply is responsible for a big percentage of carbon emission which causes climate change."
According to the documentary, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
“What’s your understanding of climate change?”, I followed up.
“Climate change is the end of the world.” (if we don’t do anything about it)
Whether you admit it or not, you have the capacity to be a hero too. The question is, “Are you willing to change so that you can save the world?”.
I know CHANGE is a big word. Just as Eugene and Marra attest- it’s not easy but if your why is bigger than your excuses then it can be done.
How about starting with a step? Just think of 1 thing you can do to better yourself and the world and then start it this very second.
P.S. I would love to hear how it goes for you.
P.P.S. When I say you, I’m addressing myself as well.
video from Release Your Wings