Reflective Spirit

by Dick Heinen on March 14, 2011

If turning 40 came as a great shock to you, or is looming ominously, wait until you hit 60! I recently reached this milestone, and although I am not usually affected much by birthdays, for some reason this time I was hit by a reflective spirit, forcing me to stop and think about the impact that my family, friends, and work have had on my life.

In so many ways I have been blessed. I have had opportunities to do a variety of things, each of which contributed to who I am today. I am thankful for the contributions of so many CLAC members who I have served over the years in health care, retail, trucking, construction, or pipeline. A bit of a strange mix but in many ways the issues are very similar. People want to be treated fairly and decently.

The largest influence on my CLAC life has come from those I’ve represented the longest—pipeline and construction members working in Alberta. The sacrifices they make living in camps, being away from home for long periods of time, and working in harsh winter conditions have helped deepen my understanding of what it means to be human.

Although most of us do not work in such extreme environments, our work is still the single biggest influence in our lives, apart from family. It is often the place where we develop our skills and social networks. And it’s often where we feel like we count—where we make a difference.

You don’t need to be celebrating a birthday to reflect on your life and work. Stop and think about your own work and how you have contributed over the years to the lives of others. You will be amazed to see just how much of a difference you have made.

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