Sometimes, being civil is hard.
This is something I struggle with a lot. I have a big mouth and a pretty scathing vocabulary that tends to become more and more colorful as I get more wound-up. I’d like to think I’ve mellowed some. I know my trucking views and vehemence for anything that even resembles trash-talk about truckers has mellowed. When I was pulling old posts for the book, I realized I was incredibly irritating and somewhat naive when I started this little adventure. Five-year-ago me and today me have generally the same views, but drastically different ideas about how they should be promoted and pursued.
First of all, thank you to the 14 people who have read me on the regular for the past five years, and have been patient with my learning curve. I sincerely appreciate the time you take to see what’s inside my head for the day. I’ve been fired as a patient by therapists, so you folks are truly dedicated, or just a crazy as I am, but either way, I appreciate you.
That being said, I’d like to share a little bit of hard-learned experience with the people who are kind of new to this “organizing the trucking masses” thing. I’ve had several conversations with a few people who have started recent efforts to “get truckers to come together,” and every single one of them is shocked and disgusted by the back-biting and incivility occurring within the “groups” assembled. And as much as I hated to say it, experience dictates it. I asked them, “What did you expect? Why do you think the industry is plagued with these problems to begin with?”
These were questions posed to me, way back when I flopped around and cried about Walmart parking and the lack of support I got when I screamed about it. Turns out, Wal Mart isn’t a truck stop, and I can resent their policies all I want to, but being an ass about it doesn’t help anything. Lesson learned.
Fact is, incivility isn’t just something plaguing the trucking industry, it permeates our lives in every way. For some reason, common decency and respect aren’t as important to people anymore. Also, I sound just like my Granddad in the 1970s, when my Uncle Danny came back from Vietnam and got no respect for it. Incivility doesn’t just happen in trucking, and it isn’t something new.
All is not lost. This isn’t one of those New York Times pieces about “how sad and awful it is to be a trucker.” (I always feel like they dragged those folks out of a dungeon somewhere, the way they mope about trucking. For heaven’s sake, if it’s that bad, you ain’t doing it right.) There are a lot of very positive people in this industry, and on Earth as a whole, you just have to seek them out sometimes. And when you do find them, emulate them. Support them. Encourage more people to be like them. You know what that makes you by association? A positive person who other people want to emulate.
See how that works? It’s like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” only without the gross, snotty pods and sheer terror.
I follow Bill Weaver on Facebook and I’ve noticed every day he’s rolling he puts up an encouraging, positive post, about looking another person in the eye and shaking their hand and making an effort to be human and compassionate. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Bill taking the time to do that, and how much that one little post encourages me to quit being an ass. It’s a great lesson in what you take the time to use social media for – he could spend the same amount of time and effort bitching about how stupid everyone else is, and the feels projected would be used for a black-hole spin out in the comments, by all the miserable people they dragged out of the dungeon for the last New York Times trucking article.
Instead, the comments are positive and appreciative and good vibes are had by all. Good stuff, Bill.
The inspiration for this post came from a blog I stumbled upon, researching the Nightingale Pledge. “Do no harm” is a synopsis of the nursing pledge, and it’s also one of the “10 steps toward civility, a place we all need to go.” This article is really, really good. Take a minute to read it, it’s well worth the time you wasted reading me today to find a gem like this.
Now to wrap this up and emulate Bill Weaver, “Y’all be safe out there, treat each other like the brothers and sisters we are.”