Archive for the ‘Hatebusters 2006’ Category

Batteries not Included

May 20, 2008

By Ed Chasteen

Most any mechanical toy or game bought in any store comes with this notice enclosed, signifying that the energy that activates the device is to be found in some other place. The game of life comes with a similar warning, though not written in such clearly understood fashion. “Meaning not included.” That’s what is written every time a baby is born anywhere on the planet. Having survived the Holocaust, Victor Frankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he contends that the meaning of life is to make it have meaning.

Unless and until a life makes meaning, it is not life at all. Such power does meaning have to energize a life that we do it grave injustice when we think it is to be easily or quickly found. Rather it must be mined from deep within our inner resources. Meaning is made as those inner resources do battle with all the outer circumstances and conditions. Hypocrisy, injustice, poverty, hatred, and all their kin must be worked into the love and sacrifice and selflessness afoot in the world. To put it all together in a way that gives meaning is the meaning.

These thoughts are playing in my head as I drive in the rain from Liberty with Cindy Harvey. She drove in from their home in Kearney. Met me in front of Biscari Brothers Bicycles, where she and Brian, Cindy’s husband, meet up with our Greater Liberty Riders most every Saturday morning for a ride to breakfast in some nearby town. This morning Cindy and I are headed to meet Yahya and Zakia, his wife.

A few weeks back Yahya had a quadruple heart-bypass. Then their house burned. As a disabled Vietnam veteran with a large family, Yahya has too little money and no house insurance. They lost everything. Then their car quit. I sent out an email appeal for help. Yahya is a dear friend. We have traveled the country together, teaching people how to like each other.

Christmas is near. After a recent Saturday morning ride, Brian came to look at Yahya’s burned house and figure out how he might help. He’s working in Arizona. Flies back on weekends. He and Cindy ride with us on Saturday when their girls don’t have soccer or other activities. The family will move to Arizona when they sell their house and the school year ends.

I got an email from Cindy the other day. “We started a new family tradition several years ago in which we take all the money we used to spend on each other and adopt a family in need instead and spend it on them. We talked it over and decided that this year we would like to adopt your friend whose house burned down.”

Already from my emails, Yahya and Zakia and their children have received furniture, money, a car, a laptop computer. Now this morning, Cindy will sit and talk with Zakia, mother to mother, about how the two families can help each other. One by giving the gift of being willing to receive; the other, by giving. A reciprocal relationship that forges meaning for members of two families from sickness and disaster.

Back home by noon, I take up my post outside Wal-Mart for another hour ringing bells for the Salvation Army. Daughter, Debbie, takes my place at one o’clock. Wife, Bobbie, replaces Debbie at two. Bobbie has spent untold hours calling hundreds of people to enlist them as bell ringers. The two of us have put in more than 80 combined hours ringing. The $70,000 and more we raise stays here in Liberty to fund InAsMuch Ministry, our local effort to care for our local folks whose lives have not gone as they hoped.

More than 40 years now Bobbie and I have lived in our town where we both taught. Living in the same house where Debbie, Dave and Brian grew up. Debbie and husband, Ed, and daughter, Laura, now live across town. Dave and Brian just a few miles away.

We have all made meaning for our lives. Here among friends, we find ways to make our world as life should be: a place where people know and care about one another.

As I’m writing this letter at Christmas time, my cell phone rings. Ahmed El-Sherif invites me to go with him in the spring to a HateBusters conference in Amman, Jordan.

HateBusters
Box 442
Liberty, MO 64069
Phone: 816-803-8371
e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

No Boundaries On Our Soul!

Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
All rights reserved.

Hatebusters in 2006

May 20, 2008

“Profoundly simple and simply profound, a formula for building human beings.” That’s what a reviewer called my new book, How To Like People Who Are not Like You. HateBusters will send a copy of this book to everyone who makes a donation of any amount. If folks who ask for copies of How To Like People Who Are not Like You make a donation, HateBusters can continue to help people who have been hurt because someone hates them. Your donation will also pay for future printing and distribution of this book. Donations may be sent to HateBusters, Box 442, Liberty, MO 64069.

  • Partnered with Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council to teach U.S. Pluralism at WJC in spring semester
  • Helped to plan and publicize Liberty’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
  • Spoke at Martin Luther King, Jr celebration at Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church in Raytown
  • Spoke to Liberty Academy (high School Alternative students)
  • Preached twice for Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Kansas City, Kansas
  • Published William Jewell College—My Camelot as a gift to the college
  • Preached at Second Baptist Church, Liberty. Church held book signing
  • Preached Bob Watts’s funeral. Bob built the bike I rode across America in 1987
  • Met with Kansas City Habitat for Humanity staff to explain HateBusters program
  • Received the Valsakhi Community Service Award from the Midwest Sikh Association “for your audacious efforts in bringing people from different ethnicities and backgrounds together to find a common ground”
  • Spoke to Kearney High School students
  • Held Human Family Reunion at William Jewell College
  • Loaned Olympic Torch to Liberty Oaks Elementary School
  • Held Fourth Annual Greater Liberty Bike Ride
  • Teamed with Ahmed El-Sherif to present two-part program on Islam to Antioch Community Church in North Kansas City
  • Assisted with Human Family Reunion at Kansas City Kansas Community College
  • Met with Pam Peck at Christian Science Reading Room in Kansas City. Pam is helping teach my U.S. Pluralism class
    Met with pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Blue Springs to discuss hateful graffiti painted on church. Organized love letter campaign for the church

  • Attended worship service at All Saints Lutheran
    Presented HateBusters program to Diversity class at Northern Iowa University

  • Met with member of Sikh community to discuss vandalism at his home
  • Assisted displaced Lebanese student at William Jewell
  • Arranged for Second Baptist Church to host delegation of Mid-East students who had come to United States to witness our elections
  • Spoke on 890 AM radio in Kansas City
  • Presented HateBusters program to Diversity class at University of Kansas Edwards campus
  • Spoke at Gracemore Christian Church
  • Preached at Kol Ami Synagogue in Shawnee Mission, Kansas
  • Spoke to fourth and fifth grade PEAK (advanced placement) class in Liberty
  • Organized memorial service for a Liberty woman hit and killed by a truck while riding her bike to work
  • Presented bike safety program to cub scouts meeting at Liberty Christian Church
  • Organized support for Yahya Furqan and his family when he underwent quadruple heart by-pass surgery and their house was destroyed by fire
  • Spoke to after-school program students at Trailridge Elementary School in Kansas City
  • Received Table of Faith Award from Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council
  • My book, How To Like People Who Are Not Like You was published

    HateBusters
    Box 442
    Liberty, MO 64069
    Phone: 816-803-8371
    e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

    No Boundaries On Our Soul!

    Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    All rights reserved.

  • The MS-150 That Wasn’t for Me

    May 19, 2008

    By Ed Chasteen

    I drove to Brian’s house Friday evening. We had dinner at Neighbor’s Café in Lee’s Summit. I was in bed by nine o’clock. And up at 3:45. I went out to strap our two Treks on my car. It was raining. Still raining when we got to the check in place at 5:30. We ate pancakes and listened to tales of riders who weren’t coming and some who were going home. Rain puts riders in a dour mood.

    I have started other MS-150s in the rain. No problem. This morning, though, a civil war is raging in my head. I’m fighting a losing battle with this timid voice of caution that tells me not to ride, that I’ll be sorry if I do. It’s still raining at starting time. “What do you think we should do?” Brian asks. It’s my call. He rides if I do. Caution wins. “Let’s go home,” I say.

    Now it’s Monday and I’m sending this email to all those who expected me to ride. “My Friends, I regret to tell you that I did not ride this year’s MS-150. I was there at the starting line Saturday morning, ready to ride my 21st consecutive MS-150. Maybe it was the rain. Maybe it was the strange tiredness I felt. I wanted to want to ride. But I didn’t. That voice in my head that I try always to listen to kept saying, “Don’t ride.” I could not shut it up.

    “On this Monday morning I feel bad because I didn’t ride. But standing there in the rain Saturday morning, I made the only decision I could make. It has long been my practice never to second-guess myself and never to regret a decision I have made. For reasons I will never understand, it was right for me not to ride this year. I plan to be back next year.”

    Only a few seconds later, I begin to get emails in response.

    “Well, we Mormons like to interpret that voice as the Holy Ghost. So I’m sure you would have had a bigger regret on your mind if you had gone. I was able to talk a slightly older guy into going by telling him my no pain, no compassion theory out in the rain that morning. He said his engine light came on as he drove to Lee’s Summit. I saw him at an afternoon stop and he thanked me for giving him something to think about! I think it is reasonable to take a break every 2 decades. Not more than that though. Ha ha. (This was my first time in 10 years.)”
    Mike

    “I am sorry about the MS 150. But, it’s good to listen to your instincts.”
    Sheila

    “Ed -I can certainly understand. But, I think you did your job. I’m glad you made it to the start though. I was right there with you. My lead up to the ride was less than ideal and the rain certainly wasn’t helping. But, seeing you in the elementary school when I was begrudgingly going in to pick up my packet lifted my spirits enough to get me on my bike. I’m not sure whether to thank you or to scold you for that. But, at the end of the day, I was glad I rode.”
    Seth

    “Ed, I hope you are feeling better today and I hope you and Bobbie have a great trip to Michigan.”
    Rich

    “Dad, this morning, when I came to work, I was told that one of my co-workers (in my department) father committed suicide over the weekend, I was reminded that we are lucky to have loved ones in our life and that we should tell the people closest to us how much we love them TODAY! We might not have another opportunity. If we knew that this was our last day or week or month, how would we spend that time?

    “I love you very much…More than I could ever say. Spending time together is the most special part of my life. If I only had a day, week, month or 6 months, I would make certain you were a special part of that time.

    “I too feel sad that we did not ride. Not because we decided not to ride. We made the right decision and I would make the same decision given the same set of circumstances. I feel sad because if I had not been with you, one of two things would have happened: 1) You would have ridden the ride or 2) you would have made the same decision not to ride & gone back to your house. Either way, you would still be traveling to Michigan today.

    “We only know the outcome of how things played out because we did not ride the MS 150. We would feel far worse if we had gone, not feeling optimistic at the time, and something tragic happened to either of us. That would have been hard to live with. Love.”
    Brian

    “ED,
    I just wanted to congratulate you on listening to the voice in your head saying not to ride on Saturday. Being an athlete, I understand the discipline it takes training for an event! Being a Christian man, I also know the discipline it takes to listen when the Lord speaks to me, contrary to what I want or believe. Rest assured, this is a word of encouragement, to say YOU ARE A WINNER TODAY AND ALWAYS!! I applaud your discipline, Ed!! Blessings.”
    Frank

    “Ed – Glad to hear you listened to your “guardian angle’s” voice. I believe mine has often pulled his hair out because I wouldn’t listen. Best of luck!”
    Sarah

    “Hi Ed: I applaud your decision to listen to that voice in your head. I’ve learned to trust my own voice, or intuition. You have ridden so many miles, and raised so much money for MS, that one year off is no big deal. I think our bodies know when to rest, and plowing forward would not have been wise. Congratulations.”
    Tom.

    “Ed, It’s good you can trust that voice in our head, there are a lot of people who don’t. The rain was a surprise for many of us. We had only five of our twelve Team Applebee’s ride this year. It was a good ride after the rain and Sunday was a beautiful day. You are such an inspiration to so many, it was your turn to pass this year. We’ll all look forward to seeing you out there next September. Take care.”
    Sandy

    “Ed, You may not have physically ridden, but I am sure you rode in the minds of all the people you have helped and ridden with over the years. I think your streak is still alive! Take care.”
    Dale.

    “Ed, Lots of us rode for you. You were in our thoughts. It was a very wet morning on Sat. I saw too many people wipe out due to road conditions. I hope you are feeling better today.”
    Melanie

    “I knew when I saw you Saturday morning that you were having to make a tough decision. I wish I could have had the time to discuss the options for you, but every best plan was thrown into disarray and everyone was late as a result of the rain. A jillion things were going on in my mind of things that had to get done before the start with my family and the team. I wish we could have suggested that you at least drive to Sedalia, join in the team fun, greet people at the team tent and then enjoy our dinner and football games on TV and then get up the next morning and do the Sunday route. Sunday was a great day, but everything is hindsight now. If we get a situation like that again, lets see if we can find a way for you to at least ride some of the ride. I also think you might have been able sag forward to dry pavement and then start riding from there on Saturday. You could even possibly ride the Kansas MS150 this next weekend. There is always tomorrow!”
    Richard

    Dearest Ed,

    “Thanks for the note, we were all asking about you. Glad to hear that you listened to that little voice. Too often we don’t. It wasn’t a fun ride the first thirty + miles, but it turned out to be a good day for riding. I think the event was another success, but without people like you to urge us on its just another ride. I’ll see ya next week. Stay Strong!”
    Greg

    “Sorry you couldn’t make it, but sounds like you made the wise choice. Better to safely regret then dangerously forge ahead. Your spirit was with all of us as we rode in your absence. I will be on the Springfield MS150 this weekend, but look forward to joining you in the near future on the road. Your friend,
    David.

    “We did miss you! I too thought it was too dangerous for you to begin. When it is dark it is real hard to tell what the weather will do for who knows how long. When we were in Dallas for a MS150, it rained before start, then stopped for the start, and then 30 minutes later started up again and rained for 4-5 more hours. Wouldn’t wish that on anyone. You can always live for another day and all it’s possibilities! See you around!”
    Richard

    My reply to Richard:

    “Richard, I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I’m wondering now why I didn’t think to drive to Sedalia and join our team, then ride back on Sunday. I feel stupid now for not even thinking of doing this. I apologize to you and to our team.”
    Ed

    Richard is our team captain. He sent me this third email in response to my reply.

    “That’s ok. The most important thing is your health and safety, and at the time before the ride started, it was really being threatened with the possibility of rain for hours and hours. Too bad they didn’t have a big screen TV there showing the radar of the rain storm for all us to see so that we could see if it would be short lived or all day long like it was in Texas for us. Like I said, the most important thing is you are around all healthy and not hurt and ready to continue the fight forward bustin’ hate and MS for years to come.

    “By the way, one of my father’s distant relatives his age on the ride got clipped slightly by another rider when it was wet and all crowded and fell down. Got up and tried to continue but half way pain got worse and they took him off the road thinking he had some cracked ribs. That could have been you also. So…………which choice was the smarter? Who knows? The important thing is you are OK with lots of options and opportunities to help out in the future. You just missed out on some fun!”
    Richard

    “You can always live for another day and all it’s possibilities!”

    Richard, you nailed it. Now it’s Tuesday morning, and my depression over my failure to ride is lifting. I’m getting my head and my heart back to where they normally are. Here’s how I see it.

    I have a MS riding season, beginning with the Greater Liberty Ride for MS on the Saturday in May before Memorial Day weekend and ending with the MS-150 on the weekend after Labor Day in September. For 15 weeks—105 days—I’m riding for MS and asking people to give. I quit years ago keeping track of the miles I ride. But I ride most every day, anywhere from 20 to 60 or 70 miles, and now and then a century. So this MS riding season I figure I’ve ridden somewhere between 1500 and 3000 miles. I’ve raised $10,000.

    So the 150 miles I missed riding this past weekend were but a fraction of the miles I rode this year for MS. All of those who make financial contributions to my ride know that I ride all the time. It is as much to my constant riding that they give as to my MS-150. The other eight months of the year I ride for HateBusters, raising money and hope for those who have been hurt because someone hates them.

    What I missed by not riding the MS-150 was the excitement of riding with almost 2,000 other riders and visiting with friends from previous rides at rest stops and being recognized by former students as I pedal along in my yellow HateBusters shirt. I look forward to this from year to year. I’m heartbroken that this year I was not part of this. Sometimes life does not work out just the way we hope it will. The only thing I know to do is to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back in the game.

    The Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be there at the startin’ line for the 2007 MS-150, the culminating event in my 2007 MS riding season.

    HateBusters
    Box 442
    Liberty, MO 64069
    Phone: 816-803-8371
    e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

    No Boundaries On Our Soul!

    Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    All rights reserved.

    From Minneapolis to Kansas City

    May 19, 2008

    By Ed Chasteen

    Eighteen days before he came to Lawson, Rick Carlson had pedaled out of Minneapolis, bound for Kansas City and a first-time visit with his daughter since her nursing job had brought her here. That chronic nagging hunger that rides with long-distance bikers flashed a mental neon in his mind: FOOD! FOOD! FOOD, as he came to Lawson and pedaled up Pennsylvania to Catrick’s Café. He parked his recumbent on the sidewalk and stepped inside.

    A piece of pie later, I spot him coming toward me on Salem Road. I had left Excelsior Springs about 20 minutes before, headed for lunch at Catrick’s. Rick and I stop to swap stories just as we come to the intersection of MM with Salem Road. Rick has pieced together several bike maps to get him here. He will leave Salem Road and take MM to get to Holt, where his daughter will come to pick him up.

    “Not many places have pie anymore,” Rick says. “But all these hills! And the wind! Pie is always good.”

    HateBusters
    Box 442
    Liberty, MO 64069
    Phone: 816-803-8371
    e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

    No Boundaries On Our Soul!

    Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    All rights reserved.

    A Passing Motorist

    May 19, 2008

    By Ed Chasteen

    It can’t be anything personal. He and I have never met. Maybe he thinks this is his private road and he doesn’t remember giving me permission to be here on my bicycle. Maybe he didn’t like what he read on the back of my T-shirt as he idled behind me, waiting for an oncoming car to clear the way for him to pass. BUSTIN’ HATE SURE FEELS GREAT. That’s the message reading my shirt would have delivered to him. Maybe he just had a fight with a wife or girl friend. Maybe he just lost his job. Or got other bad news. Whatever the cause, he is an angry man.

    The moment the passing lane is clear he guns his car and roars past me. As he does so, his left arm shoots out the open window of his really nice car. With his arm extended out and up as far as he can stretch, he doubles three fingers and his thumb into a fist and thrusts his index finger skyward, waving it from side to side. He keeps it there as he rounds a curve and disappears.

    Will there be another recipient of his anger on down the road?

    HateBusters
    Box 442
    Liberty, MO 64069
    Phone: 816-803-8371
    e-mail: hatebuster@aol.com

    No Boundaries On Our Soul!

    Web Site Development and Service provided by TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    Copyright (c) 2000-2008 http://www.hatebusters.com and TakeCareOfMyWebSite.com.
    All rights reserved.