Free to Question

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No one is handed freedom on a silver platter. According to noted author and professor, Dr. W.W. Dyer, “You must make your own freedom. If someone hands it to you, it is not freedom at all, but the alms of a benefactor who will invariably ask a price of you in return.”

Freedom means that you are as unobstructed in ruling your own life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery. If you cannot be unrestrained in making choices, in living as you dictate, in doing as you please with your environment (provided your freedom does not interfere with anyone else’s freedom), you are under command by forces stronger than you.

To be free does not mean denying your responsibilities to your loved ones and your fellow man. Indeed, it includes the freedom to make choices to be responsible. But nowhere is it dictated that you must be what others want you to be when their wishes conflict with what you want for yourself. You can be responsible and free. Most of the people who will try to tell you that you cannot, who will label your desire for freedom “selfish”, will turn out to have measures of authority over your life, and will really be protesting your threat to the holds you have allowed them to have on you. If they can help you feel selfish, they have contributed to your feeling guilty, and immobilized you again.

You must become the master of your own destiny. If you are not, you are not free. You do not need to be powerful or exert influence over others to be free, nor is it necessary to intimidate others, nor to try to bully people into submission in order to prove who is master.

The freest people in the world are those who have a sense of inner peace about themselves. They refuse to be swayed by the whims of others, and are quietly effective at running their own lives. These are responsible people, but they are not enslaved by other people’s selfish interpretations of what responsibility is.

As Motortruck contributing editor Ingrid Phaneuf noted in her article Legislation Decisions 2004, legislative change will top the list of carrier concerns for 2004 and it’s expected to have a dramatic effect on carriers. The bottom line is that the pre-notification demands, new hours of service and other regulatory demands threaten to increase costs and reduce productivity. Industry insiders both in Canada and the United States have warned about the hours of service rules above and below the 49th that could cause carrier productivity to decline by as much as 25% and lead to the demise of many operations. And the recently released Customs pre-notification standards have left carriers concerned about their impact on costs and delays on time-sensitive shipments. All of this has restricted the freedoms of the transportation industry.

Any force, group or individual that threatens your freedom needs to be informed of their breach, even if it means putting your very livelihood on the line. The Ontario Trucking Association and The Truckload Carriers Association need to stand up for their members’ freedoms.

One of the great American states has the following words emblazoned on its license plates, “Live Free or Die”. Freedom is worth fighting for, even if it takes a lifetime and great sacrifice. God help those people that threaten my freedom.

Mark Borkowski is president of Toronto based Mercantile Mergers & Acquisitions Corporation. He can be contacted at

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.

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