On my bike trip this summer, a number of people asked me if I was riding for a cause. "Sure," I said, "I'm riding to experience the pure joy of traveling by bicycle."
But then I felt a little guilty. I knew what their question really meant. Other cyclists were riding for a "charitable cause" -- to raise money for guide dogs or to raise awareness for three-toed, pink-haired hermaphrodites. Am I a bad person for not riding for a cause?
But then I came across this beautiful tidbit of wisdom from Lao Tzu. After reading these words, I felt not an ounce of guilt. Rather, I embraced my original cause. And I embraced it proudly.
I am riding to experience the pure joy of traveling by bicycle.
I'm going through a fairly major transformation in my life right now, and designing my life around my passion for bike touring is a huge part of that transformation.
As I pedal along, mile-after-mile, I'm finding that my authentic purpose in the world is becoming more and more evident. And I'm pretty darn sure that living my authentic purpose will be my most important contribution to the betterment of society.
I have no shame in my cause. For now, I am riding to experience the pure joy of life. Something tells me that this cause is going to balloon into an even far greater cause.