Article: Selfish Ambition

Sometimes I think we are wired to ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” We are motivated by advantage. We might weigh the benefit of doing something selfless before we act. The benefit might boil down to, “Will this act make me look like a good person in the eyes of others?” Not everyone is so calculated but it does happen. I am sure I have been guilty of this at some point in my life as well.

Luckily, Aaron Wylie experienced the kindness and generosity of complete strangers who had nothing to gain from helping him.

Aaron hasn’t seen his parents since Christmas 2019. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Aaron’s parents live in Saint John in New Brunswick. Although the trip is only four hours by car, the pandemic of 2020 kept them separated out of an abundance of caution. 

Recently Aaron found out that his mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. All Aaron wanted to do was find a way to see her while there was still time. The pandemic travel restrictions in Canada and mandatory quarantine paired with budget constraints and lack of time off, it looked as if the visit might be pretty much impossible. As you might have guessed, Canada had different health protocols than the United States.

Then he got an idea.

Aaron, who drives a bus for Halifax Transit in Nova Scotia, has a Class-1 license—which allows him to drive a truck. Since truck drivers are classed as essential workers, he thought if he could score a gig delivering a payload to New Brunswick, he might just be able to make the trip happen after all.

Hoping for a miracle, he placed an ad on Canada’s popular classified network site looking for a truck driving job that would take him to Saint John.

He didn’t think he get would many, if any, responses. Boy, was he in for a surprise!

Aaron received over 5,000 responses to his online classified ad.

Although he has not received clearance to travel yet, he has a job lined up to drive a truck to Saint John. 

“It’s been an overwhelming response and an emotional one,” Aaron said in an interview with CBC News. “I was just blown away. These are people I don’t even know.”

Kindness is out there, thank God. 

I am reminded that Saint Paul wrote to the church of Philippi about this very subject. He wrote, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

That is a reminder for all of us. Consider others better than ourselves. When we do that, we are more apt to serve others without asking, “What’s in it for me?”

God bless,
Pr. Ben