Yes I got a speeding ticket! It was one of those “Photo Infractions”…my vehicle picture was taken speeding. When I first saw it in the mail, I was REALLY hoping that it was my husband and not me. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Once I realized it was me, I was just mad! My first thoughts were “I’m going to fight this”, “I’ll show up for a hearing and they’ll cut it in half automatically” and “there must be some mistake”. Well, after looking at the video (yes, they include video for your viewing pleasure), it was obvious that is was me and that I had just not noticed the change in speed limit.
You see, I was in an area of town that I’m usually not in so not as familiar with it as I am other areas of town. When I started to think about what I would tell the judge at my hearing, it was things like “Your Honor, I wasn’t paying attention” or “I just didn’t see the sign” or better yet, “I was distracted by …..”. It became obvious that none of those were going to get me anywhere and they weren’t even legitimate reasons, let alone legitimate excuses.
At this point, I became embarrassed! Not because I had gotten caught but because it had happened in the first place. I’m normally very conscientious about the speed limit or changes in the speed limit. I pride myself on being very aware of what is going on around me. Sigh …
I spent 2 days thinking about what I was going to do. I finally told my husband that I was just going to pay it … in full. He indicated that if that was what I wanted to do that was fine. But he did ask for an explanation as to “why” and “how” I came to that conclusion. It’s a valid question!
So this is how I got to this decision —
- There was no denying that I was guilty
- My “reasons” weren’t legitimate, they were just excuses in the hope of getting off the hook
- My embarrassment didn’t make what I had done go away (as much as that would have been nice)
- I needed to just take responsibility for what I had done
So hear me out as I get to the lesson to teach!
As parents, we attempt to teach our children that they need to take responsibility for their actions. They don’t always “mean” to do things wrong and it might truly be a mistake BUT that doesn’t take away the fact that they did it. There are consequences even when they don’t mean to do something wrong.
I didn’t mean to speed … but I did! What message am I sending, if I make up excuses? What lesson in responsibility am I teaching, if I tried to get out of the consequences? Is my pride more important than taking responsibility?
Do you see where I’m going with this?
- I’m not arguing about whether I deserved a ticket
- I’m not coming up with excuses in the hopes that the consequences will go away
- I’m just going to “plead guilty” and take my punishment
Sometimes to teach a lesson to our children, we need to swallow our pride and admit that we messed up. It’s a tough thing to do! Don’t you think that in the long run, it’s more beneficial to show them how to take responsibility rather than just tell them that they need to? I don’t want my kids to see the attitude of “do as I say not as I do” from me. I want them to think “if mom can take responsibility for a mess up then so can I”.
Isn’t that what being a role model is all about!