The proposal was approved and Shimon found himself leading bike trips, with a group of ten boys. All are serious offenders; violent, angry and damaged. Some are refugees from war-torn countries, who until their incarceration, were living on the streets, trying to survive in a strange country.
Just as life handed these kids obstacles and challenges, so did Shimon’s bike trips. They rode through rocky terrain and faced steep uphill climbs. When Alex, a teenager with a troubled past, hit a rock and was thrown from his bike, his reaction was extreme. Shimon eventually learned how to help Alex through his anger. He stuck with him, and gave him chocolate. He did something very different from what Alex was used to; he was patient, kind and reliable.
Imagine the freedom these ten boys must feel, when they’re riding with Shimon, enjoying nature, exercise and positive adult leadership. How can you help but think of your own personal freedoms when you hear a story like Shimon’s? It’s interesting to see the change that happens when we become the influence in another person’s life. In his professional life, Shimon teaches extremely motivated students at an elite university. In his passionate life, he found he needed to teach differently. When working with his “boys on bikes,” he starts with one basic lesson: Understand this, life is complex. When you accept that, you’ll become more tolerant, and tolerance leads to hope.
Shimon also learned he needed to adapt a new attitude: These are my principles, if you don’t like them… I have others. That’s right, flexibility is the key to freedom and much more. Like being flexible enough to ride a bike around the block and pray… like it’s the very first time.
the breadth of eternity inside them.
Galaxies of possibility,
dark matter, shooting stars.
We think we have no say
as specks on the continuum of time,
but we continue to do the right thing,
even when no one is looking.
Each instance we take on faith,
new worlds form
and supernovas burst into being.
The horizon is wide open;
the past has been jettisoned.
Open my eyes to what's possible
and my heart to what's true.
Map out the uncharted skies for me
so I know I'm on my way.