People ask me all the time,
‘Where do you come up with your ideas for your blogs?’
Well, okay, they don’t exactly ask me that question.
Okay… no one has ever asked me that question.
But it’s a nice false premise for starting a blog.
It’s sort of like those TV reporters or news anchors who are always asking those disingenuous questions.
“How do you respond to those people who would say that…”
They try to proffer up the opposing viewpoint in order to drive contrast or conflict which makes for better TV.
And if someone were ever to ask me that question, I would simply say
“Very promptly and forthrightly,” in a stern, rather stentorian manner.
But this morning’s blog topic came to me as I was making my morning commute. I had just turned off Highway 17 onto Highway 99 and looked to my left to see hundreds, literally hundreds, of bald eagles duking it out on the top of the garbage heap at our local waste management facility.
A few hundred yards further on I saw two snow geese racing neck ‘n’ neck 30 feet above the highway. And shortly after that, I saw one of our beautiful red-tail hawks sitting on a big green exit sign looking down below for any small furry rodents that it could pounce on.
I saw this, all the while passing by the flow of the daily traffic going the other way through the tunnel and into downtown Vancouver – cars, trucks, utility vans racing to get to work or to make a delivery.
It struck me as I looked at all of this activity on, above, and beside the road, this morning that ‘every living thing in one way or another is commuting’.
They are going somewhere, going to some place, to do something.
I don’t know if it’s the competition of it per se, but I will tell you that watching the way bald eagles tear into one another, trying to steal some morsel of food from each other’s mouths, will give you a sense of just how far we living organisms have progressed over these past few thousand years… or given the state of the world these days, maybe not.
Some living beasts get up in the morning knowing that they have to hunt or scavenge for food. Other living organisms get into their mid-sized SUVs, drop by Starbucks for their morning dark roast, and think about how their company can compete more effectively as they drive down a beautiful highway, a snowy white glacier in the distance, listening to songs of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
‘Get your motor running, head out the highway
Looking for adventure, or whatever comes our way.’
But it did strike me as odd this morning on my way into our nice little transportation management software company, that, I as a human, am engaged in the very much the same endeavor as my aviary friends along the way
We sleep, we rest, we work, and we play. Repeat.
We also like to hang out in flocks. I worked from home for three years. Now I know why some birds like crashing into the front window – it can get boring. So, coming into work is appreciated.
The flying part – well there they got me. I need some assistance on that one.
As humans, we work about eight hours a day in North America, less in parts of Europe, and I am sure and way too much in some of the third-world and impoverished countries around the world, which makes me quite sad actually.
I am under no illusion that somehow it was ALL ME, that somehow it was me alone that earned everything that has come to me now. And I take no solace from the fact that I was lucky enough to be born into the 1% of the population of this earth that enjoy some of the greatest benefits ever afforded to a larger group of mankind.
It is indeed a bit incongruous and unfair that by simply a chance of birth that these benefits were conferred upon me. A stable home, a loving family, healthcare, and free education except for the sum total of $4,000 that I paid in tuition for my 4-year university career!
Perhaps the most important act or practice I can engage in, in my life, is to be appreciative, to be thankful.
I am thankful for a great commute this sunny morning
I am thankful that I can come to our little transportation software company and work with such great committed folks – to be a part of our team.
I am blessed by a happy, healthy family
We live in a wonderful community.
And I also know that I have to work hard. I have to compete. I have to make my own way and work with others because I know that ‘my own way’ gets easier if we are making ‘OUR own way’.
I talked to one of my colleagues the other day about something I would call the ‘performance ethos’. When you show up, you make a difference. I believe l learned that lesson from hockey where I would get on the ice every second or third shift. I never once thought that I couldn’t make a difference – either scoring or preventing a goal. I never wanted to let that cup pass before me without taking a big gulp.
So, like those bald eagles, those snow geese, or those hawks that I saw this morning, I know that I have to perform, that I have to achieve. Much has been given to me, and it should be expected to. Most importantly, I have come to expect that of myself.
That’s why I know when I arrive here at work.
‘I Bring It’.
And when you arrive – ‘You Bring It’!
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