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I was sitting here trying to figure out what to bend yawls’ ears about this month, and I was drawing a blank; it suddenly popped into my head about a few words that seem to get forgotten about in today’s society in general. Let’s see if this works In the motorcycle community, there’s a word that is spoken quite often. It’s a word that at one time meant a lot to the biker world. The word is BROTHERHOOD. Now before the females in the biker community crucify me, the word also stands for the sisterhood. When I refer to the Brotherhood in this article, it most certainly includes the ladies as well. To me, the Brotherhood means a person or group of people that exhibits Integrity, respect, and honor. I learned about these three traits in the military.

I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y.

Integrity is a rather simple word. If you say you’re going to do something, you do it. Too many people today will tell you one thing, but never deliver on their promises, thus lowering or erasing their level of integrity. They seem to do this for personal gain, and often with little or no consideration for anyone around them. Often it means they are throwing a brother or sister under the proverbial bus.

with honor”. To me, the word means that you live your life the best way you know how. Do things that will make people proud to call you brother, or sister. Lead by example, if you are in a leadership role. Be a stand up person and always do the right thing, even when no one is looking. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Be there for your friends. The Brotherhood mantra and way of life is still alive today. Many people choose the easy way over living by the way of the Brotherhood. Unfortunately, the Brotherhood suffers because of it. It doesn’t only exist in the biker world. Veterans, fire departments, law enforcement, and other tight knit professions all know what the Brotherhood is supposed to be about. Politics, red tape, and everyone looking for personal gain has made the Brotherhood seem too old school to survive in today’s society and fast paced world. We sacrifice the Brotherhood if we can better ourselves. Decisions are made based on “what’s in it for me?” mentality. If they step on a few people, but come out ahead, they are good with it. On the flip side, there aren’t too many people who will speak up against those who choose this route. Integrity, respect, and honor go right out the window, and so does the Brotherhood. This is what I see, to some extent.

Can this be fixed? Of course it can. How, you ask? We have to stop and remember we are all part of a lifestyle and of a much grander picture. Not everyone can live this lifestyle, nor do they want to. We are the last of the free spirits. As these free spirits, we need to start looking out for each other. Yes there will be conflict amongst the Brotherhood. That’s how families work. It happens. Once it does, work it out, put it behind you, and carry on. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect, to me, is treating Hopefully you’d do that for your blood relatives. The Brotherhood is your family that you choose to have, someone the way I wish to be treated. This doesn’t unlike blood relatives whom you can’t choose. mean that you should expect any special treatment I challenge all who read this and enjoy the lifestyle from anyone, just simply treat people the way you we have chosen. I challenge all of you to bring back want to be treated yourself. It does mean that I expect a fair shot, and in return, you’ll get a fair shot the Brotherhood. It’s not that it’s gone, just that it’s lacking a bit from what it once was. Be there for from me. Too many people today demand respect each other. Watch out for others in the wind despite without having earned it. By showing people you have integrity, you will earn their respect. Once you what they ride, how they ride, or where they ride. To use an old military term from way back, watch have earned the respect, never ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. If and when put each other’s 6. Treat people like they deserve to be treated, and on the reverse of that act in such a in that situation, you best be prepared to have your bluff called. When this happens, it is time to put your manner that people can see that you deserve it. money where your mouth is. Trust me, once you do, If I call you brother, or sister, I do this because you it’s not likely it will happen too often. have earned my respect. Hopefully I’ve earned yours at that point. Later, my Brothers and Sisters. H-O-N-O-R. How does one describe honor? Honor is not the easiest trait to describe, nor is it an Gary Emery, aka Wildman easy one to obtain. A good example is in the veteran firefighter200463@hotmail.com or the military ranks. You often hear “He/She served 18 - TRMI DECEMBER 2016

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Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa December 2016  

Iowa's Biker Magazine. About Iowa, For Iowa, From Iowa.

Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa December 2016  

Iowa's Biker Magazine. About Iowa, For Iowa, From Iowa.

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