I recently received a request for what I consider to be one of the most important writing assignments I’ve ever had. I’ve been asked to write a letter to the future. More specifically, 17 years into the future.
There’s a special little baby up in New York City who has parents extra-cool enough to implement the idea of having people who love the little girl most write a letter on her first birthday, for her to open and read on her 18th birthday.
My first thought was, “I wish I had done that for our kids.” The youngest will be 20 this year. On his first birthday I made him the worst cake in the history of cakes, and covered it with smiley face yellow icing. All we did on his 18th birthday was look at the pictures and try to remember if his liver had shut down, because the poor kid was dyed yellow as an Easter egg from the reprehensible icing I concocted. (Give me a break, this was before Pinterest. I had to actually turn pages in a magazine to find the recipe.) He looked like a committed alcoholic at the tender age of one. It certainly wasn’t one of my better parenting decisions.
It’s kind of hard to decide what to tell someone in the future. As nutty as the world is today, there’s really not much advice to give, except for, “Keep your head on a swivel.” While it’s excellent advice, it’s not really profound.
I decided instead to tell her about people who have influenced me, and how important it is to be a positive force in the world. In making a mental list of those folks, I realized a great majority of them I have either met because of the trucking industry, or they are directly related to it. And that’s profound, especially since I’m borderline old and this isn’t my first job. I’ve been around for a minute, George and I have owned several businesses outside of trucking, we both had other careers and educations that had nothing to do with trucking, and yet, I find most of my personal heroes are truckers — either in the literal sense or at heart.
Who knows where we’ll be in 17 years? Hopefully, we’ll be at a birthday party, listening to voices from the past, and being happy we didn’t say anything about an Atlanta Falcons Superbowl championship. One thing I do know is I will still be grateful for the opportunities this industry has given us to meet and work with some of the finest people on earth.
Let them truckers roll!