Being considered the forum E-mom (to my utmost honor), I’ve been asked many times, “What makes CF so special? What’s the difference from other forums & why are you so loyal?”
I try to explain it along these lines: I came to Custom Fighters in September 2009. It’s the first forum I’d ever been on, or joined. I have since joined several others, believing they were probably much like CF. They aren’t…not even close. Because they aren’t special to me, but CF is, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to put my finger on what DOES make CF different. Every time I believe I’ve figured it all out, I find there is more. My perceptions of the forum keep changing as time passes, but not my belief in the ‘constants’ that keep us all bound together as ‘the Custom Fighter family’.
Nearly all of us have our own personal families, who love & care about us & what happens in our lives & want only the best for us, and we feel the same way about them. However, each person in every family is busy with their own interests & their own personal lives they must attend to & their own agenda to pursue, be it work, children, spouse, education, etc. So, each family ‘cares’ to whatever extent that they can, usually with little extra left over. What sets CF apart, in my honest opinion, is the level of ‘caring’ we show each other, no matter what the circumstances. I believe this caring we share comes from a deeper level & a common bond which surpasses our individual ‘self’, to include all who are drawn to CF & who find themselves returning again & again to this forum ‘home’ & ‘family’.
I call this bond ‘the life intensity’ bond. All of us here seem to be aware of our own mortality, & of our own impending & hopefully, ‘eventual’ death & how short our stay on this earth really is, yet the only true fear we share is the fear of a mundane life…. the routine existence of the masses. We hunger & strive for a greater experience, expression & creativity of life & the need to share that hunger with others of the same nature as us. The common denominator of that expression here on CF is through the bikes, but it goes even beyond that.
Any of us with an idea, a thought, a need, or anything we’d like to share, can come to our forum 24/7 & someone is always here who will care & want to hear what we have to say. Maybe you need someone to just listen & understand, or you want a lively discussion about news topics, politicians, bikes, games, music, or anything else you can think of, or you can’t sleep & just want a little human contact. You’ll always find a friend here. You’ll find encouragement, sympathy, understanding, excitement when you’re excited, fun when you need fun, laughter, silliness & seriousness when needed & a good rant once in awhile to round it all out.
But I think what impresses me the most about CF, is the level of care we show each other when a need arises. There is an IMMEDIATE response when anything happens, or one of us asks for help. Whether it’s in the form of advice about something or some situation, or we need bike parts, riding gear, photo-shop help, art-work, forum problems, problems with another member, family problems, a place to stay, an accident or an illness which calls for prayers, good vibes, positive thoughts & donations…. we’re there. No matter what it is, we stand beside each other & we lift each other up. This kind of loyalty comes from a deeper bond than is the ‘norm’ for mainstream mankind. It can’t be found, or developed with time…it just ‘is’. I am reminded daily just how fortunate I am to be a part of this huge family of strangely intense & I believe’, more advanced’ human beings who I call my adopted children. (Or ‘brothers’ if you’re too old to be my kid…) =)
When I am through telling people what I believe makes Custom Fighters so special, they usually look at me like I must be a bit ‘off’ & they can’t figure it out…at all. Then I realize that all the rich facets of CF & the people who call her ‘home’, can’t be put into mere words, but must be experienced first hand for themselves. That’s usually my queue to smile & change the subject, because if it didn’t ring any bells when I was explaining about CFs’ differences, I know they aren’t part of this journey the rest of us are taking together & I’m saddened for them.