This week I have several things to share with you. First, I want to ask how everyone is doing with the Five Plus Challenge? Were you able move away from your comfort zone far enough to start accepting the challenge? Did you make contact with a representative? I suspect very few did. I admit, I didn’t either. I promise you that in the three weeks left in the month, I will make that contact. I’m not doing very good on getting five people to participate as well. This is also a part of the challenge that I will continue to work on. This leads me to the next realization I had last week.
As I listened to the current events and many of the different perspectives on the varied subjects, I realized that the trucking industry is very much a reflection of the national landscape. There is a lot of talk about what should be done on many different fronts but it is the voice of the major players and media that come through. A lot is presented as if it were the silver bullet to all the problems but in reality, “they” don’t often speak to the needs of the minions. We continue taking what is decided for us in spite of our protests. Just look at the results from the listening sessions that were held. Many people with extensive experience spoke up and gave excellent input. Yet, the voice that gets heard is that of the major players.
I heard a statistic about voter participation in America. It indicated that participation across the board was down. Even more so on off year elections. You may ask, “What does this have to do with trucking”? Well the statistics for truckers getting involved are even lower than the national average! We have to learn how to be the stewards of our own destiny. We will do this by becoming part of the system and being heard. You may feel as if your voice doesn’t really make much difference. The truth is that unless your politician stands to gain something from it, your voice alone doesn’t really make much difference. That is why we have been ignored on so many issues. When we speak together, we display a voting block. That is something that can be valued. If that block is large enough, we start to be heard. We have the power to make quality changes to our industry if we collectively stand together.
We are a government, By the People, Of the People and, For the People. If we don’t participate in the government, WE ARE NOT HEARD! That is the importance of the challenge from last week. We have to decide if we are going to take what we are fed or decide for ourselves what we will have. As we get older and become the more experienced drivers in our industry, we have to learn more leadership skills to properly prepare the newer drivers for their own future.
It really is about moving out of your comfort zone to take the next steps. We can do this. Just try it this week. Try to call your representative. You will get a staffer. Tell them how you feel about something. I promise you that you will go away with the satisfaction of knowing that you actually did something. If that is too big of a step, then go to FightingForTruckers.com and just sign on to one of the form letters there. You may also feel that it didn’t really make a difference. Well, when you add your voice to the others that decided to make a difference, you will start to see things change. Encourage others to find that inner strength to make a difference too! Before you know it, you will be the roll model of the next generation. Let’s step up and make a difference!
Great idea on the challenge. Let’s go!