Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.


Posted at — Aug 5, 2020

This is part of the grateful series.

The bicycle is a beautiful feat of engineering. Its multi-purposed in that for some it serves as an exercise utility, for most it serves as a transportation method, and for some its simply an enjoyable getaway.

I’ve always been extremely fond of bicycles and motorcycles. As I’ve aged, the fondness tilted towards that latter. Recently, I’ve had a strong urge to acquire my motorcycle license, but given the state of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to do so.

I decided to stop sulking, and pull out my bike. I rode to the largest incline I know, near my house, and pedalled my way to the top. I turned around, put my bike into its highest gear, and sped down the downhill.

It was an extremely exhilarating ride, and for the 10 seconds I was cruising down this decline, I felt present. I couldn’t help but smile as I was met with the agreeing wind on my back, and cars matching my speed to the left.

I continued biking all through the night around my city, and was feeling pretty content.

I’m having a difficult time expressing in to words how I felt, but I know somewhere in the enjoyable experience was an opportunity to be grateful.

With saturation, I find, our gratitude towards entities decrease. We see food everywhere, so we’re inclined to take it for granted. Everyone has a bike, it’s normal, so we rarely stop to appreciate the pivotal invention.

I’m grateful bikes exist. I’m grateful I have a bike. I’m grateful I have a functioning body to enjoy the experience a bike has to offer. I’m grateful I learned how to ride a bike.

My mom doesn’t know how to ride a bike, as it wasn’t something she explored in her youth. She’s expressed regret in not learning, as she can see how enjoyable it is, from the outside looking in.

Her regret is something that fuelled this reflection.

Something I take for granted, is at the focus of another’s regret. Acquiring perspective and thinking of those who don’t have access to what you have is a decent exercise to ground yourself. Without going too much into this digression, it’s also important to fuel these exercises with empathy, and not comparison. To look for someone lower, less than, or without is in essence asserting you are above another, and I find this can fuel this notion of the self in dangerous ways.

Be careful not to use these opportunities of seeking gratitude to fuel your own ego, rather to explore the fortune you’ve acquired and the luck you’ve experienced in living such a bountiful life.

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