As the days and weeks approaching today’s blog grew closer I began wondering what I would write about for this week’s posting.
As you know, we have frequently talked about many wonderful people who serve as inspiration to us all by virtue of the remarkable changes they have made in their lives through their commitment and dedication to the achievement of goals they set for themselves.
Today is my 150th blog. This is an important milestone for me signalling my own commitment to a promise I made myself almost three years ago, that I will post a blog every Saturday, without exception, even if I only have a readership of one – me.
I believe I have successfullyachieved that level of readership quite often.
As I thought about the topic for today I realized I really wanted to write about something truly special and as my wife Gimalle and I headed out for dinner last night I was still pondering what that topic might be.
That question was answered during our dinner last night.
We had dinner with a remarkable group of people.
These are people many of you have seen at work and yet have most likely not paid any attention to what they do.
Some of you may not even know that people doing this type of work even exist.
These people work in a section of law enforcement that gets little publicity, keeps a very low profile, seldom makes the news, never gets involved in headline grabbing activities like high-speed chases, and yet this group of people day after day, by simply doing their jobs, very often in extremely adverse conditions, potentially save thousands upon thousands of lives each year.
We had dinner with several members of Alberta’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch.
These are the people who, along with their counterparts in every state and province in North America, go out every day, around the clock, in the most inclement of weather, and patrol our highways in search of poorly maintained commercial vehicles that pose a threat to the all of us.
Everyday these unsung heroes pull over and inspect hundreds and hundreds of vehicles that are hauling all kinds of heavy, hazardous, and dangerous materials on our highways in vehicles that are unsafe, often falling apart, sometimes with missing tires, sometimes with no brakes and occasionally held together with chewing gum and duct tape.
These trucks pose an enormous threat to all of us.
They find these vehicles and they take them out of service, and they don’t allow them back on the roads until they are once again safe to drive and in so doing they protect all of us who drive our highways.
If you have ever driven from point A to point B on one of our highways and have arrived safely at your destination then a large part of your safe journey has been due to the unseen diligent work done by these folks who go out and perform these inspections each day.
They get little recognition for the remarkable work they do.
Much of the “recognition” they do receive comes to them in the form of complaints filed against them and criticism and anger directed at them by those whose livelihoods they have affected by taking them off our highways because those folks chose to drive vehicles that they knew to be unsafe and that posed a threat to the rest of us.
I have had the good fortune to talk with many of them and they all tell me the same thing; they do this for one reason only; because they care.
They don’t do this because they enjoy writing expensive tickets but they do it because of the sense of fulfillment that comes with taking unsafe vehicle off the road and knowing that in doing so they may well have saved her life, or many lives.
Possibly the life they have saved may well belong to the person who at this very moment is yelling at them for the inconvenience they have caused him/her by sidelining their vehicle.
I was told that current research suggests that the work they do potentially prevents up to 6,000 fatal accidents across North America each year. The data does not include the number of accidents that cause no deaths but leave countless lives destroyed.
On a daily basis they are yelled at, sworn at, occasionally threatened and, on rare occasions, physically attacked yet they remain undeterred in their commitment to keeping us safe.
I once read an article that stated that the most quoted quote on the English language belonged to Mahatma Gandhi who said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
These dedicated public servants exemplify those powerful words and we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for the great job they do for us each day.
So on behalf of all of you I say to all of them “Thank you. We truly appreciate all you do.”
I am proud to count so many of you among my friends.
Till we read again.
P.S. Life Sinks or Soars is now on Facebook. Like it at www.facebook.com/strategicpathways