Have you ever wondered what it is like to drive a semitruck? 

I was driving halfway across the country in our minivan and came across a wide variety of trucks heading our same way. There were some that were open in the back, some that were double hitched together, some were carrying half of a house, and others were just the cab hauling nothing. As we went by, I noticed that our van seemed quite small in comparison. When in that semi’s driver seat, a little Mini Cooper probably looks like a matchbox car. Where an RV approaching is like Hagrid meeting his giant family.

I wondered what it felt like to be up so high, traveling so fast, with huge cargo weighing it down. Depending on what was in the container, I bet it feels quite different. Like a haul of lumber compared to lettuce. Or coils of industrial cable compared to cattle. I wonder if the type of cargo plays into the decisions the driver makes?

At least at the beginning…

I bet it is fun to pull that string to honk the horn when kids are asking through the window and see their reactions.

I bet it is fun to “camp out” in the cab on a long trip.

I bet it is fun to see all parts of the country.

Though I also bet…

It gets old having to honk at cars who cut you off too quickly on the highway not understanding the physics behind quickly stopping with a large mass of cargo.

It gets old sleeping on the road in cramped quarters night after night at a truck stop or on the exit ramp.

It gets old watching all these places go by on the highway without time to stop because the delivery schedule is tight.

Once you get to the delivery exit, I wonder how the brain and body feel when transitioning to driving in a more tightfitting urban setting. The stoplights, powerlines, bridges, skinny lanes, parking, backing up, and maneuvering through traffic. It must take a certain amount of confidence. I’m sure they are trained to handle all types of vehicle situations. But after parallel parking for years on the streets of Chicago, I don’t think the Bump-n-Tap method works the same when operating a semi.

I bet it is a nice change when they drop off the semi after a job, get in their compact car and pull into their driveway with plenty of room to spare.

It makes me wonder, What items or objects in our life really shape our perspective? What does it do to our levels of compassion, empathy, and patience?