While riding my motorcycle to work the other day something happened to me that made me start thinking.  I met another biker and without a thought, we each extended out left arm and pointed toward the  center line of the road.  This is not unusual.  It happens all the time.  That day, however it struck a chord in my mind that has led me to write this blog tonight.

Im not a stereotype “biker” by any means.  I dont ride a Harley and I dont wear leather.  As a matter of fact, in my plaid hoodie and blue backpack, I probably look like a fat nerd who got talked into buying a bike in an effort to look cool on his way to college.  In truth, I bought the bike for a cheap form of transportation because I couldnt afford another car payment…I keep it because its fun to ride and gets over 60 MPG…You just can’t beat $5 every two weeks for gas back and forth to work.

However, even though I am different from the stereotype, I almost always get a salute from passing bikers.  It doesnt matter if its someone in black leather, a blue jean vest, a flashy professional looking jumpsuit, or whatever, the ritual repeats itself over and over.  A simple salute is exchanged between men and women who have a common bond in their joy of riding motorcycles.

Im sure many of these people and I would have a hard time riding an elevator together if all we had to go on was our individual personalities, yet as we ride past one another we salute as if to tell each other that we are part of a brotherhood that overcomes those differences.  We may never speak to each other in person, but we honor each other with a simple hand gesture…A Salute.

knight080706_228x326Tradition tells us that the salute originated from the practice of knights in armor tipping their visors to show their faces to other knights when they rode past each other.  It has evolved over the years to become a sign of respect for authority.  Ranking officers in the military are saluted by enlisted men and lower ranking officers,   The Flag is saluted during the national anthem, revielle, and taps.  We salute heroes, elected officials, and people we genuinely respect,

The salute is a sign of respect, but at the same time, it does not say that you agree with 100% of what the person you salute represents.  A soldier can salute his commanding officer while not liking the oficer as a person.  He can salute that officer, accept his orders, and (so long as those orders are lawful) he can carry out those orders even if he does not agree with them.

So where am I going with this?

I’m glad you asked.

I feel we need something similar to the biker salute in the RLSH community.  We have message boards.  We have My Space and Facebook pages.   We have Blogs and You Tube accounts.  We even have new articles and reality TV shows.  What we lack is the common courtesy to acknowledge each other as peers if only in the sense that we are ALL people who have chose to be creative activists in colorful costumes.

Imagine if we took a moment to simply salute those who chose to don the cape and join us in trying to impact the world.  Imagine if we didnt worry about if the person wore spandex, leather, or denim.  Imagine if we didnt care if they wore a cape or a trenchcoat.  Just imagine if we didnt care of they wore a mask, goggles, or a visor.  What if only for a moment we just acknowledged that they were trying to do something positive in a creative way just as we have chosen to do.

Perhaps the media wouldnt be so quick to splash our disagreements on the evening news and in the morning papers if we were united by the act of respect that is attached to a simple salute.  Perhaps not…but that doesnt change my opinions on the matter.

We need to stop greeting newcomers with the hard line stance that turns them away and greet them with a brief moment of respect.  “Welcome the the RLSH community.  Let’s make this world a better place together.” Should be the greeting that a RLSH recieves from another RLSH long before hearing “You’re doing it wrong!”

And while we are at it, lets learn to agree to disagree.   Im not going to agree with everything you say or do.  Im sure you wont agree with everything I say and do either.  But, we can each learn to operate individually without having a big flame war or chest puffing contest.  In other words, we dont have to like each other but we should show respect for each other.

Im sure many of you will think Im wrong.  You feel that there is no hope for the various factions to get along.  I would offer that I am not asking you to dance together, but merely to remain cordial and keep the infighting between us while showing a united front to the world in general.

The US Navy and US Marine Corps have a well known rivalry.  However, sailors and marines work together to protect this nations interests on a daily basis.  When there is a threat that affects one, you can be sure the other will be there to watch their back.

Why can’t we have that in the RLSH community?


If you’re a crimefighter, I salute you.

If you’re a charity hero, I salute you.

If you’re hero support, I salute you.

If you are an oracle, I salute you.

If you’re trying to make this world a better place in any way, then I salute you.

Keep up the good work!