I've also been seeing a lot of comments lately about the upcoming fun-run/fun-draiser Max Run that sound like, "hey, sounds like a great idea, great cause, but... I don't run... I don't like to run... blah, blah, blah"
All the excuses start to sound like Jake Elroy (John Belushi) from the Blues Brothers.
I'm not bitter when people decline to participate because they aren't available, can't afford to, or even just don't believe in the cause. Long ago I chose not to take it personally when someone declines to contribute, participate, or otherwise engage with our cause - life's too short to worry about that kind of stuff (and there's so many people who DO want to help if only you ask and show them how, so that's time better spent anyway!).
But what gets me are the excuses. "Oh sure, I care Andy, just make it easy for me to care, and I'll show up."
As Melissa and I have started giving more and more of our time to fighting neuroblastoma and other causes, a constant theme has emerged for me, and that is when giving is easy, you get less out of it. Giving in a manner that challenges the giver, also helps the giver; it helps them appreciate the sacrifice of their giving more. It makes the giving mean more to the giver. Altruism is a funny concept (quick refresher: altruism being an act that benefits someone else other than the actor). Altruism doesn't align well with biology and evolution.And while I know that evolution exists, I also believe in God. Perhaps that's where love enters the equation. Maybe God's love makes it possible to see past our own selfish interests and limits. To extend ourselves past our comfort zone. Take risks on behalf of someone else, but get something unattainable otherwise in return.
And there you have it, the meaning behind the name Max's Ring of Fire.
According to Rosanne Cash, Johnny's daughter, "The song (Ring of Fire) is about the transformative power of love..." The story is that four years after the song was released, Carter and Cash were married which Cash states helped to stop his alcohol and drug addictions.
I like the Rosanne Cash explanation. And I believe the Love Transforms message from the song, has become the durable meaning of the name Max's Ring of Fire. The video below also demonstrates the reason for the name (simply put, Max loved the song, sang it all the time, and aligned well with the skate, hot rod, alt country aesthetic associated with the Social D version).