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Have Truck Drivers Lost Their Compassion Out On The Road?

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.

Photo Courtesy of The Truckers Report

Photo Courtesy of The Truckers Report

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?

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Discussion

One thought on “Have Truck Drivers Lost Their Compassion Out On The Road?

  1. It will need to start with somebody else, unless it is something I decide to care about then you’ve lost me. As a truck driver I am shat upon by industry representatives, the general public and a good chunk of my fellow drivers so there is no incentive for me to care about what goes on with others. I do actually care and normally do what I can to help others but that is just my way, there is no incentive from others for me to want to help though. On the other side of it, as an average taxpaying citizen there is incentive for me not to get involved and to not help. Charity and giving of ones self should be something that one does of their own free will, however we are forced through government handouts to give to things we don’t believe in, sometimes we are forced to fund things that work against us or that we have been fighting against. This too can wear a fellow down and cause him to reconsider donations and volunteer work and focus more on self. I know for myself I can get to the point where I don’t care if I never see another human being outside of a few close friends and some family, let alone volunteer my time and/or money to them. Of course even the charities that are government funded still come begging for more, it’s free for them so there is no incentive to manage the funds properly as they can just ask for more. Some of these charities are also divisive such as the convoy of hope for breast cancer, it’s only for women so why would any man bother when they come straight out and say you’re not welcome to drive in it. In summation, I wouldn’t say I’ve lost my compassion, there is still the feeling you get for having done something for someone without expectation of reward, yet there is also so many, many factors working to weaken your will to help.

    Posted by David Dudgeon | September 30, 2013, 12:13 am

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