Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Damaged freight sucks. Simple truth. It quite difficult for a vendor to sell something, unless the price is discounted, when it was damaged. Sadly, due to the nature of the shipping industry, damages can and will happen. It matters little how tightly packed it, and sometimes even that can cause damage. How should we act about this? Apathy is not a good answer, though it is common. Oddly, though not directly related, the words of Jesus to the lawyer regarding loving our neighbors may provide some insight.
We are all quite familiar with the story of the “good Samaritan”. Perhaps too familiar with, especially in light of the various hospitals and laws that exist that bear this term. Lets step back a bit. Instead of looking at in terms of merely helping others in distress, lets look at it in terms of how we treat others on a regular basis, especially since the parable is phrased in terms of an extreme circumstance. This would include how freight is handled by a shipper, whether going across town, across the country, or even across the ocean. Our neighbor is not always somebody we know. In fact, in may prove that more often than not, our neighbor is somebody we don’t see and may never even meet. Now it is true that they may not know us either, but we can be certain that if we are the cause of damage to their property, which is what freight is, somebody’s property, they will know our work and that could give them a false impression of what we think of them.
Our neighbor can easily be the vendor or truck driver that brings us the freight. Our neighbor can easily be the guy on the other forklift who is also loading freight. However, our neighbor is also the receiver on the other end who has to unload the freight and the delivery driver taking it to its final destination and the vendor at the location it is being sent to. Perhaps even the person who is ultimately buying that item for in their home is also our neighbor. How then should we consider and act in regards to damages?
It would seem that we should look at the freight in terms of if it was ours. Would we want to buy something that was damaged by somebody’s carelessness or neglect? Not necessarily, as even something that is on discount due to damages is still damaged. If we want to minimize damage, we should think of those to whom the freight is going to as our neighbor and do what we can to ensure that it will arrive in as safe and undamaged condition as possible. In doing so, we are loving our neighbors, even the neighbor we do not know, as ourselves.