Driving With Gratitude

Driving with gratitude

Long distance road trips are not on my bucket list.  Not that I have a bucket list.  But if I did, sitting in a driver’s seat for several consecutive days would not be a feature.

However, due to a series of circumstances which are not entertaining enough to be elaborated on here, I recently found myself on a coast-to-coast road trip across Australia.  From East to West.  Driving every day.  Solo.  Well, not entirely solo.  It was in a two-car convoy with my dearly beloved.  Each a single occupant in our respective vehicles.  That’s a lot of solo time.  Across a lot of open, wild country.

There are many places in Australia where I would not choose to live.  I would not choose to live on a drought-stricken property, many miles from swimming waters.  I would not choose to establish a home where there is no phone signal.  Or where there is no neighbour for thousands of miles.  As I drove across our vast country, pondering such thoughts, I was filled with gratitude for those who live in these isolated locations.

I gave thanks for the working families who offer refreshment, fuel and accommodation along the Nullabor Plain – that unforgiving stretch of relentless flatness.  I nodded with admiration and respect for the grain farmers who toil amidst challenging conditions to cultivate their crops.  I mentally shook hands with every transport operator who spends their life distributing and delivering goods.   The fabric of our society would be in tatters without these key people.

As I continued my reflections, I contemplated not only the many places where I have no desire to live but also the many occupations that I have never been drawn to.  My mind expanded as I considered how fortunate it is that there are folk who are willing and happy to be dentists, road builders, politicians, truck drivers, mechanics, paramedics, plumbers, policemen and so on.  I would not like to step into their work shoes.  Thank goodness for the existence of these skilled people.  Thank goodness for EVERYONE.  We need you all!

The survival of each of us depends on the contributions of countless others.  In this way, we are all connected.  The words on this screen are appearing right now thanks to the design, construction and distribution of hardware and software.  Those designers, constructors and distributors require shelter, food, training, supplies and so on.  Each of those components depends on many others.  And on it goes.

So back to my road trip.  It may not have been a bucket list experience for me, but it made me appreciate the contribution that an individual can make within a society.  We can each play our supporting role, be it a lead actor, a minor role or a behind-the-scenes part.  EVERYONE is important.

Thank goodness for EVERYONE.