This week is the 75th Annual Sturgis Bike Rally and the Black Hills are rumbling with the sound of motorcycles. Everyone across the state notices when this event is being held and this year they are expecting more than one million bikers. As a kid, I was reminded to be extra careful and lock the doors at night. Motorcyclists may have gotten a bad reputation over the years, but in actuality, 99 percent of bikers are law abiding citizens and really nice people. They have a camaraderie like no other and have a brotherhood that extends across the world.
- Enjoy the Ride. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind. Traveling back and forth to work everyday can be monotonous. Bikers enjoy the ride. On a motorcycle, you not only see the scenery, but you smell it. You feel the air around you. You are part of the journey you take. Bikers enjoy the journey not just the destination. Do you drive the same route every day? Try looking around and appreciating something that you might drive by every day. Roll down the windows and smell the clover.
- A Little Dirt Never Hurt. Sometimes we avoid personal situations because they seem messy. Have you ever avoided a friend or family member because they were going through a hard time and you didn’t know what to say? When we are willing to jump in and get a little messy, we can not only impact someone’s life, we can change our own as well.
- Be Bold. Life goes by too fast to be timid. I love seeing the doctors and lawyers who are bikers. This is the time they live on the edge, grow a beard, or show off their tattoos. But why hold back? If it is who you are, go for it. Say what you need to say, do the things you always wanted to do. Life seems to go by in the blink of an eye, don’t waste time.
- Be Respectful. Respect is a give and get. To be respected, you have to give it first. If you respect a biker, they will be respectful to you. Do you have someone in your life who you feel doesn’t respect you? Try showing them more respect then they deserve and watch what happens.
- We are All Brothers and Sisters. Have you ever noticed that bikers wave at each other? It’s not a traditional wave, but they frequently drop their left hand down when they pass each other. They all feel connected; they belong to a group. We all belong to different groups and families. If you are reading this, you are part of our LSS family. You may be an employee, a donor, a volunteer or a client. Regardless of your connection to LSS, you are important and we are connected as brothers and sisters of LSS.
- Be Dedicated. Bikers ride in the rain. They ride in the wind, extreme heat, hail, and everything in between. Life gets messy, but if you are dedicated to your mission, or to helping others, you persevere. LSS is dedicated to strengthening individuals, families and communities in South Dakota. We continue to change and evolve to provide the best care we can for those who need a hand, a hope, or someone to listen.
- Give Generously. Bikers are generous. If one of their own gets hurt or needs help, they drop everything and give everything they can to help their brother out.
Did this article remind you of a loved one? LSS touched the lives of South Dakotans more than 56,000 times last year with a variety of programs and services statewide. LSS serves people of all ages, faiths, races and economic status with professional, confidential and affordable services.
Jessica Lillebo, Western Regional Director, LSS Development & Foundation