With many recent developments surrounding the trucking industry lately it made me question what has happened to the compassion that truck drivers used to have for many different causes that they were exposed to. The sense of support for one another is definitely waning and the sense of support for what used to be very important causes seems to have decreased along with it.
Just the other night I had a pretty good conversation with driver Paul French and his wife Jenn regarding what happened to drivers paying it forward or getting involved in certain causes. This conversation came about while we have been struggling to find support for a fellow truck driver, Kip McCarty https://www.facebook.com/groups/512652238828436/, who was found unresponsive under a bridge near a truck stop in Dallas where he had parked his truck. To this day Kip remains in ICU while many of us search for answers as to what happened and why but our more pressing focus has been to generate some support in the trucking community for one of our own who has fallen. We tried brainstorming to find out why Kip’s story had been shared on social media over 2,000 times yet less than 1% of the people it was shared with came forward to help.
This got me to thinking about some comments I was reading on a page the other day regarding the Special Olympics Truck Convoys that will be taking place in the very near future across the country. Someone had simply put up a post to remind people of the convoys and to help if they could, and the amount of negative and in some cases downright rude and disgusting comments was disheartening to say the least. I found the same to be true on other pages regarding things like Make A Wish, so it leads me to ask the following question, have you lost your compassion as a driver?
Some may take that question in an offensive manner but what I am looking for here is feedback from you as drivers, have you really lost compassion or is it something else. It wasn’t that long ago that drivers believed in the idea of pay it forward and part of their public identity was that of a group of people whose very lifestyle involved helping others. Have we become so discouraged by the treatment that we receive from people outside of the industry that we are now letting that same type of behavior infect the industry on the inside? Are we willing to give up our very identity and close ourselves off to others to the point that we become simple robots that turn a wheel?
I surely don’t expect everyone out there to help in every cause they come across but let’s be honest with ourselves, most of us have at least dollar worth of change that has been rolling around in an ashtray or console for the last 6 months that hasn’t been touched. Heck you don’t even have to give financially, think about volunteering some time to help a little kid or a family that is going through a major hardship and could use a shoulder of strength for a while. If you are one of those people sitting back and asking “what do I get out of it” well chances are pretty good that you have lost compassion for just about anything. Not only would you be helping someone else you would be helping yourself in the long run, you would be promoting a positive image of yourself and the profession that you represent. You might find yourself becoming a role model for some young kid or making a new life long friend from a family member who you were there for and in some cases you might have a direct impact on saving a life.
So the next time you see a post and it says something like “we need your help” take the time to read it before you just delete it or just share it after reading the headline and deciding you don’t have time to mess with something like that. It might not be that far down the road when it could be you on the other end wanting to provide one last wish for your kid or looking for a donor to save a loved ones life or even help with medical expenses that might financially ruin your family. It could be as simple as stopping to help someone on the side of the road or as complex as putting together a fundraiser for an important cause but if it doesn’t start with you then who is it going to start with?