During Black History Month, Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF) is recognizing the achievements of professional truck drivers for their modern-day successes in the trucking industry.
Charlton Paul, a driver for UPS Freight, is recognized as one of this year’s Black History Month Leaders who are helping to move America forward every day.
Paul has been a professional truck driver for more than 25 years, and has worked for UPS Freight for the past 23 years. During that quarter-century of driving, he has accumulated more than 2.2 million accident-free miles.
Paul became fascinated with trucking at age 7, while on a trip to the store with his father. While there, Paul says, he stopped to look at the “beautiful” truck unloading goods. Since then, Paul was hooked, and could not wait to become a professional truck driver.
“It is the most fantastic job,” said Paul when reflecting on his career as a professional truck driver. “When I sit down and actually think about what I am contributing to society, it is a huge honor for me.”
Paul also discussed delivering medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as delivering equipment and textbooks that will be used to educate future engineers and leaders. Understanding the impact, he is having on someone else’s life through the goods he delivers makes his job even more important, he says.
Paul’s family says they are very proud of his accomplishments and recognitions, from being honored at the White House by former President Donald Trump to being featured in UPS Magazine. As his family gains more of an understanding for what he does, he said, they have is a lot more appreciation for the entire trucking industry.
“There is a reason behind everything,” Paul said while discussing the importance of educating the public on the trucking industry. Through the Share the Road program, Paul has seen students and adults recognize ways to drive differently after being educated about blind spots and the amount of distance it takes for a big truck to come to a complete stop.
In his efforts to educate the public about sharing the road with big rigs, Paul gives a lot of praise to the advanced technologies in trucks today, noting, “Technology will never replace us, but (it) will continue to make us better drivers.”
When he’s not educating the public about safe driving, Paul is teaching his peers at UPS Freight. During new-hire orientations, Paul writes this important piece of advice on the board: “Do the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
“It is not just about me; it’s about my peers and pulling people up,” he explained, adding that he is honored and humbled to be at this stage of his career, and he hopes to use his platform and success to encourage others to be like him.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Black History Month leaders: Charlton Paul works to encourage othersComment
Fortunately, at a very young age I was emphatically told by my mother (who’s of Eastern European heritage) about the exceptionally kind and caring nature of our Black family doctor. She never had anything disdainful to say about people of color; in fact she loves to watch/listen to the Middle Eastern and Indian subcontinental dancers and musicians on the multicultural channels.
Conversely, if she’d told me the opposite about the doctor, I could’ve aged while blindly linking his color with an unjustly cynical view of him and all Black people.
When angry, my (late) father occasionally expressed displeasure with Anglo immigrants, largely due to his own experiences with bigotry as a new Canadian citizen in the 1950s and ’60s.
He, who also emigrated from Eastern Europe, didn’t resent non-white immigrants, for he realized they had things at least as bad. Plus he noticed—as I also now do—in them an admirable absence of a sense of entitlement.
Therefore, essentially by chance, I reached adulthood unstricken by uncontrolled feelings of racial contempt seeking expression.
Not as lucky, some people—who may now be in an armed authority capacity—were raised with a distrust or blind dislike of other racial groups.
Regardless, the first step towards changing our irrationally biased thinking is our awareness of it and its origin.
But until then, ugly sentiments need to be either suppressed or professionally dealt with, especially when considering the mentality is easily inflamed by anger.