First please allow me to say thank you for all the wonderful birthday wishes I received last week; I turned 60 on August 29th (I share the same birthday as Michael Jackson, a person with an incredible amount of talent whose life was too short). I made my best effort to write an individual thank you to each email and FB post (the number of people who took the time to wish me Happy Birthday was humbling to say the least) – if I missed you please accept my apology, it was not for lack of will or effort on my part, just bad eyesight!). The collective effort each of you made on my behalf made me very happy – which brings me to the thought of collective consciousness.
In cycling and in life, individually we are strong and have tremendous potential, together we can accomplish anything we set our minds to and, just as significantly, help others as well. I know this from my own experience with cancer in 2017. Most of you know I was diagnosed with Stage 3 testicular cancer on Jan 11, 2017, had surgery to remove an almost 600 gram tumor on January 13, 2017 and began a 3 drug, 4 cycle chemo treatment on February 20, 2017. The doctor described it as follows: “look at it like a really hard 12 round boxing match, with each round making you feel progressively worse to the point where you will struggle to get up for the 12th round. Get up, keep going, and at the end of it hopefully you won’t be knocked out or dead”.
The collective support I received from people near and far was simply incredible and unearned. My wife, my family, my in laws, our Gavia and GFNY Cycling communities, cyclists from all over the world – everyone wrote, called, texted, visited, sent small gifts with large meaning (consider that GFNY produced 5,000 arm bands that said “GFNY4Vito” for participants to wear during the race in May, that Gavia members took care of the studio, that my wife and in-laws made sure I got to the hospital for treatment when I could barely walk and that the good wishes from people I didn’t know all that well simply continued. That accumulation of good wishes, that collective and conscious effort, is clearly what made the difference between living and dying. When people say “you beat cancer” I correct them. I did not beat anything, there was nothing for me to do except to simply accept the treatment I was given. Its the collective good energy and spirit that supported me during my treatment that made the difference.
Each of us have the power to change our own world and the world around us through the use of positive collective consciousness; every thought, every effort, every gesture large or small matters. We are one – like the ocean, we cannot tell where one wave ends and the other wave begins. Even the waves that break onto the shoreline roll back and become part of the ocean again.
Each of us have the power to create positive change in the world; what will you do today? What thoughts will you put out into the world?
Thanks again for all your kindness!