Here’s something that I believe to be true: for everything you do in life, you have a choice to be selfless or selfish. When individuals make the choice to act selflessly, it draws people in, it creates community, and it can be inspiring. These people often become our heroes and, if we’re lucky, our friends. Sometimes, finding the strength to put others before yourself is a great task. More often, this struggle between yourself and not yourself produces the script in your head and sets into motion each little action and decision you make every day. That’s how I think about it, anyway.
And this isn’t a new idea, obviously. Humankind agreed long ago that we’d all be better off if we helped each other. A more knowledgeable person could help trace this idea through the world’s religions and societies, but I find the most inspiration from the people in our lives. A well of inspiration for me in the past few years has been Bobby Menges.
I never met Bobby. I came to know about Bobby through his father, Peter. The Menges family, particularly Peter, are passionate snowboarders, and they outfitted themselves in gear from our company, TREW. Peter became a close friend and business partner, and I heard all about Bobby and the outsized impact that he’s had on the world. You can’t help but be inspired by how Bobby lived and, in turn, be drawn to his legacy.
Diagnosed with cancer as a young child and fighting it on and off his young adult life, Bobby’s legacy is one of those examples of heroic selflessness. In the face of his own terminal diagnosis, Bobby lives life to its fullest: snowboarding, playing guitar, and building deep friendships; undergoing his own phases of treatment and chemotherapy, Bobby aims to ease the suffering of others undergoing similar treatment by tirelessly raising funds and awareness; and when, at times, life became what I can only imagine is a constant reminder of his battle with cancer, Bobby’s legacy was a wholehearted love for life.
Countless lives have been impacted directly by Bobby or indirectly through the work of his family’s I’m Not Done Yet Foundation. The scale of his legacy matches the challenges he met and his tireless efforts to give life his all. While our lives have different sized challenges and unique circumstances, we have the same opportunity to think about or outside ourselves. And it is thanks to larger-than-life examples like Bobby’s that we can be reminded how our time should be spent.
By Chris Pew