A few weeks ago, I received a speeding ticket while traveling to work.
I was running late because one of my boys was up all night, so I was severely dragging my butt.
I had no intention of speeding. But my fatigue, coupled with listening to a Zig Ziglar audio book, created less than optimal conditions for me to pay attention to the speedometer.
I was clocked at 71 mph in a 55 mph zone. Doh!
You might be wondering, “What’s your point, Joey? People get speeding tickets every day.” Which is true, but the incident became a milestone moment for me — it became a lesson in integrity. Both seeing it in someone else, as well as showing some of my own.
When the policeman gave me my ticket, he did a great job. He was courteous, informative, knowledgeable and professional. He made the experience almost pleasant (except for the hefty fine and license points). Not what I expected.
As he handed me a ticket, I decided to thank him for his kindness. This was not a tactic to have him rip up the ticket; I knew that wasn’t happening. I was sincere. I wanted to give this man, who could have easily been a rude turd, some positive feedback on a job well done.
After I drove away, at a legal speed on cruise control, I realized the import of what had just happened.
I had made no excuses. The incident was my fault and I took full responsibility for my actions. I didn’t blame my son for his sleepless night. I held myself accountable and exercised some integrity (in a surprising way). Since the ticket, not once have I thought (or said), “that jerk, why’d he give me a ticket? Moron!” No, he was doing his job and holding me accountable for my actions.
The real point of the story has nothing to do with me. It’s about all of us. It’s about the choices we make, how they shape us and what kind of example we set for our kids.
If we can turn a speeding ticket into a positive experience, brimming with integrity, imagine what we can do with the rest of our lives. Whether you know it or not, your integrity is there. It’s just a question of if you’re listening when it speaks.
And remember, you are not alone…
If you like this post, Stumble It!
5 Replies to “The Speeding Ticket”
It is so easy to blame someone else. So true.
… I am here with you.
Sorry your last line brought the imagery of Michael Jackson cavorting around semi naked with Lisa-Marie Pressley to mind!
Now there is another whole story about integrity!
Nice post – challenging stuff. I am a mental list keeper of all the little things that contribute to my shoddiness. Be a man, man!
@ Mark: Thanks for the comment. The MJ comment is over my head, but your statement, “be a man, man,” brings to mind Hulk Hogan. Sometimes being a “man” is the very worst thing we can do. IF that means we’re falling into the stereotype.
Hey – If the MJ reference is over your head – you are a lucky lucky man. Perhaps five or six of the most awkward minutes in pop video history. Stay away from youtube. Do not do it.
Sorry did not mean to convey a stereotype – just geeing myself on to take responsibility for actions instead blaming others of contributory negligence!
Now I want to search You Tube for it! Thanks for that (lol). On a less bizarre note, have you ever listened to Zig Ziglar? He is awesome at helping with this type of stuff.
BTW, love your blog!