Our days on this earth are numbered, so make the best of every opportunity. In this case I’m not expressing my usual financial focus but something much more than just money. Every day we come across people in need and/or distress. Sometimes the only thing they require is a few words of wisdom, instruction, a gentile hand of encouragement or even just a sliver of our talents. It maybe takes only few minutes from our day but together we can add great riches to our lives and others by helping people out.
It’s not very often I write to you about my family, but I think today I’ll share a little about an experience. My son drives for a company going mostly east west in Canada. He was traveling west in Ontario on his way to Winnipeg. It was during the illegal blockades and he had difficulty navigating some fuel supply issues. Sure enough he ran out of fuel on top of a hill and coasted down to a stop, unfortunately just a few miles from his appointed fueling location. My son is a great driver but does not have a whole lot of experience mechanically. He hardly popped the brakes when a fellow trucker pulled over in front of him. It was a total stranger.
The seasoned driver offered help to move fuel from the refer to the truck. It quickly became evident that he was highly experienced. As they got set up the seasoned driver began to tell my son about the engine they were working to supply fuel to. It had a very peculiar “trick” to priming it. Detailed information flowed like smooth butter, school for my son continued for about half an hour until it was time to turn the mechanism over. His truck once again roared back to life. My son was elated and asked what the man would like. “Just help someone else out when you see they need it” was the gracious reply. The angel jumped back into his truck and disappeared down the road. My son’s day was made a shining beacon of hope in both humanity and the trucking industry. He was proud to be a driver, eager to forward the tradition of our industries greatness. In less than ten minutes he was at the pumps and secure for the rest of his trip.
Too often the media and “pundits” scourge the transportation industry as divisive, crude and crass. It often times affects the way we think of the business we are in. We are too often an easy target because we are so large and intimidating on our highways, an obvious easy mark. However, the truth is drivers are very often gentile giants on our roads, with hearts as big as their trailers We are more often chivalrous than dangerous and rarely noted for it.
Too many in our industry think that chivalry was pushed off the road decades ago. I disagree! Though the faces in our seats have changed color our hearts have not cooled. This man who trained a youth had a strong accent, and was clearly an immigrant. All cultures have great people in them and last week (from the date I wrote this article) our roads were shown again how wonderful the individual people in this industry are and can be.