Today, I start my morning, away from home. I am in Peoria, Illinois for a show and gathering the things I need to get my uniform ironed for the day. This is a good time for me to relax and reflect on all the things that life brings. This week though, a statement that was made to me a few days ago has taken residency in my thoughts. For myself, the statement seemed negative. Having this statement stuck in my head seemed to cause more of the same negative scenes throughout my days. The statement was “That’s not my job!”. My thought is that if a task falls at your feet, it becomes your job. 

Yesterday, I heard another statement on the news that allowed me to put a positive thought into this issue. The news statement was “This is a job where everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction.” This positive statement made me reflect on the many good things that I see; like how Clark Reed, my fellow Team Run Smart Pro, finds and picks up at least 3 pieces of litter a day on his walks. Is that big? Some people might think that it’s not a big deal. But, aside from not throwing litter out your window; if everyone took a similar stance to Clark Reed’s actions, the travel centers where we stop would be much cleaner. I have taken Clark’s challenge to pick up litter from the parking lot and take it to the nearby trash bins on my walk to and from my truck everywhere I stop. Let’s all row in that same direction. 

There are many examples in everyday life that we can use to “row in the same direction”. As we drive through crashes, we can observe the speed limit and reduce our speed, which is especially important through narrow construction zones. Traffic would flow more safely, and everyone would make it through without getting delayed by another crash. Second crashes typically stem from impatient highway users not slowing down and making a wrong move. 

More examples of everyone “rowing in the same direction” would be things like taking the time to spot a fellow trucker back into a tight loading dock. Is it your job or responsibility to help? No, it’s not your job. But by doing so, you are not just helping that person, but also yourself and everyone around you by making the yard traffic flow smoother. This also helps prevent damage to equipment sitting in the yard. 

This thought process of “rowing in the same direction” can affect many aspects of our lives. At the store where there is a discarded shopping cart close to you as you get out of your vehicle, grab that one, take it into the store, and use it for your shopping. That is one less shopping cart that could possibly roll into a vehicle causing damage. 

The basic tenet that I’m trying to convey here is how much smoother everything in life unfolds when everyone is rowing in the same direction. Grab your oar and make life flow smoother for yourself and everyone around you. 

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/T™, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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