Hello again, dear readers! I had to take a brief hiatus to get my preppy house in order. But I’m back, and thanks to the help of a savvy web designer my site has a cool new look and feel. I hope you like it. But even more important, I’ve got a renewed vision for my blog to share with you.

Let’s start with an oxymoron. I’m a highly pessimistic optimist, which means I hope for change but realize it can’t come about without first identifying weaknesses and flaws. You know it, and I know it: our world has plenty of faults. But some are so severe, though, that we fail to acknowledge them out of an apathetic collective psychology stemming from the feeling that our world is simply too big and too complex to change. We find ways to just deal with things as they are. And as a result, we replace cooperative aims for things like peace and prosperity with personal desires for pleasure and comfort, refocusing on the individual experience more than the collective. This is no surprise, of course, because we’ve needed a coping mechanism to get by.

Sadly, that’s just it—coping is about all we’ve been doing for a while now. Some really smart people in the last 30 years or so have claimed that we shape our world as much as it shapes us, reflexively making it what it is because of who we are as a collective at any given moment in time. I agree, but it’s not quite the full picture. Most of us don’t have a strong hand in shaping the structures and systems that organize, govern us, and basically make up our way of life. The power’s not really in our hands, especially in America.

Our culture relies most heavily on elites to make decisions about how we value things, how we organize things, how we’re governed, and even worse who stays in charge. I’m not just talking about politics—I’m talking about education systems, belief systems, ideologies, and economic structures. Like most other people who lived centuries before us, we’ve been duped, too. Our education systems teach us to be followers, not leaders. Our churches teach us to be good rather than to do good. Our politicians try to make us believe that ideology matters more than pragmatics (and of course we all know that moneyed interests drive their agendas). Cultural tendencies like these have left a ton of us out on the streets, poor and impoverished, hurt and heart-broken, family- and friend-less, overworked and undervalued, mad and crazy, callous and uncaring, desperate and anxious, sad and depressed, unloved and unappreciated, powerless and incapable, apathetic and disinterested…and for some even much worse.

The psychological, economic, religious, social, and political landscape we live in today ultimately reflects the folks at the top who’ve done very little to make our world a better place. But you all know this, right? It’s the usual story. We talk and we talk and we talk some more about how bad it all is, and that nothing ever really changes. That’s simply because very few people, especially those elites who rule our world, truly understand how change, big change, really works.

When I launched The Preppy Trucker last year, my primary goal was to give a voice to a class of people who didn’t have one. Truckers are a forgotten people group, largely disparaged by most of society and left to the fringe of our American world. But after a few months of writing, not that much to be fair, I quickly realized that the picture I was painting required a much larger canvas. Truckers aren’t the only ones left out. In all my experiences in business and academia, which includes leading multi-million dollar consulting projects, writing long and laborious papers most of you wouldn’t want to read, and even hauling a semi-truck filled with oh-so necessary pharmaceuticals around the North American continent, I’ve discovered that the things keeping truckers from living meaningful lives stem from the exact same structural and systemic dilemmas that most everyone else faces. So, I’ve relaunched this blog to call-out those dilemmas and articulate pathways toward real, long-lasting change.

I believe that to change the world, we need to first really know it and understand it. We need to know our world like we know our significant others, knowing its wants, desires, feelings, strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, fears, and so on. Just like a healthy relationship, we need to converse productively with each other, nurturing and maturing our understanding of how our world works. So, this blog is meant to develop talking points and spur productive conversations that explore the range of cultural dilemmas we face on a daily basis. I encourage you to be highly interactive with this blog by sharing your reflections and opinions (respectfully, of course) no matter what they are. Everyone’s voice matters.

So, my new and improved site is intended for literally everyone. But those who might find it particularly appealing are those who care about culture development and have a passion for, not some nebulous quest for “total equality,” but a pursuit of everyday human flourishing and emancipation.

It feels nice to be back in the driver’s seat. Get ready for a bumpy ride…

Keep on preppy truckin’,
-TPT

P.S. Don’t worry trucking friends, I’ll still write occasionally about trucker-related things. But it’s not the main focus anymore. Instead, I’m saving that for a book that I’ve started and hope to publish in the near future. Stay tuned!

T.C. Dankers

T.C. Dankers

Sociologist, management consultant, entrepreneur, and blogger, Tom is the original “preppy trucker.” He sees things differently. Living the odd double life of both trucker and social theorist, he offers a unique perspective on a wide range of American business, culture, and social justice issues.

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